Alastair Cook became the fifth-highest run-scorer in Test history as he chased a farewell century in his final international match on Monday.
The former England captain moved past Kumar Sangakkara’s tally of 12,400 as he reached 76 not out on the fourth day of the final Test against India at the Oval.
That helped England, who are looking to wrap up a 4-1 series win, to 173 for two – a lead of 213 – with current skipper Joe Root unbeaten on 54.
Cook, who also registered a half-century in the first innings, began the day on 46 and soon moved past 50 with a trademark clip off his legs for four off Jasprit Bumrah.
It was a 58th Test half-century but Cook, 33, undoubtedly had his sights set on improving that by reaching a 33rd ton.
Before that came Sangakkara’s landmark, which he reached at 76 with a single into the leg side off Mohammed Shami.
The match will be the last of Cook’s prolific 12-year international career after he announced his intention to retire last week. He will bow out knowing only Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid have scored more Test runs, while he has also become the highest-scoring left-hander.
His efforts included sweeping Ravindra Jadeja for two fours in one over but he did survive a scare on 46 when he was dropped at slip by Ajinkya Rahane off the same bowler.