It seemed like the relentless rain over the course of the final day of the third Test between England and Pakistan would further prolong the agonising wait for James Anderson to reach a milestone he was just one wicket short of.
Therefore, as soon as the heavens cooperated, Anderson wasted no time and fittingly enough, scalped the opposing captain Azhar Ali to mark his 600th wicket.
With it, Englishman rose into rarified air, becoming the fourth member of the 600 club, joining Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619). However, what sets Anderson's achievement apart is that he is the first fast bowler to reach the milestone.
It took Anderson 156 matches to reach the milestone and that tenure includes an incredible 29 five-wicket hauls. The achievement was undoubtedly a popular one, as social media immediately went abuzz with earnest plaudits for the 38-year-old veteran, and we round up some of the best ones.
Champion bowler James Anderson! Congrats on reaching the first-ever 600 wickets for a fast bowler.. hard work, passion and never-day-die approach have been the hallmark of your career.. doyen of fast bowlers, best wishes for the rest of your career @jimmy9— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) August 25, 2020
Incredible 600 by @jimmy9 . What an amazing achievement. Playing 156 Test Matches for a medium fast bowler is no less achievement. Cheers mate. #JamesAnderson #600TestWickets #England pic.twitter.com/dVFMqPvuwA— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) August 25, 2020
#600JA Couldn’t be a greater ambassador for Test Cricket than James Anderson! He’s an excellent example to young kids that to win a Cricket Oscar be great in Test Cricket!— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) August 25, 2020
Just take a moment to appreciate how good Jimmy is 🏏— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) August 25, 2020
600! You’re amazing bro! @jimmy9 #600
Many many congratulations @jimmy9 on the 600 mate.. Skill,strength, tenacity and the longevity as a fast bowler is unparalleled..Wishing you many more my friend...— Kartik Murali (@kartikmurali) August 25, 2020
For a fast-bowler to play 156 test matches is an incredible achievement, a testament of his endurance. And becoming the first fast bowler to 600 test wickets is a just reward for the hard-work & the passion with which @jimmy9 has played his cricket. Many congratulations #ENGvPAK pic.twitter.com/RGOdReZXuL— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 25, 2020
The great Fred Trueman once said about anyone achieving his feat of 300 test poles "If he does he’ll be bloody tired by the time he does it.". Don't think he had James Anderson in mind, what a champion 600 scalps at test level for a fast bowler is a special achievement #Club600— Mluleki Ntsabo® (@ntsabomluleki) August 25, 2020
At the age of 38, running in hard as ever and able to extract swing and seam only to be the best in the world. Agile, athletic, and handsomest ever. #Jamesanderson #600 One hero beyond the game and pundits.— Pady (@BabarAzamKannan) August 25, 2020
Finally Englishman James Anderson puts a fast bowler in the league of extra ordinary gentlemen, becomes first paceman to claim 600 Test wickets.— shailendra awasthi (@toi_shailendraA) August 25, 2020
600 Test Wickets!— Leighton Thomas (@Tommo155) August 25, 2020
Arise Sir Jimmy of Anderson!#JamesAnderson
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Alastair Grant