The most controversial day in Test history in this country - that ended at 10.12pm with the first such match to be forfeited - was sparked off at 2.30pm when Darrell Hair, one of the umpires, ordered that the ball be changed because he believed its condition had been changed.
England were awarded victory over Pakistan after four hours of consultations had taken play among officials from both sides, the umpires and the International Cricket Council.
Unhappy at being penalised for ball-tampering in mid-afternoon of the fourth day, a tense situation ended with Pakistan and umpires Hair and Billy Doctrove failing to take the field after tea.
After play was called off at 6.13pm, hours of debate followed before a joint statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board, Pakistan Cricket Board and the ICC, confirmed the historic and farcical conclusion.
A new law allows the batsmen, in this case Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood, to choose a replacement from a box, and the Pakistan captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq, was told that a five-run penalty would be added to England's score.
Nothing was more certain that the tourists would pursue the issue as soon as they left the field for tea at 4.10pm. Bad light took them off at 3.45pm.
Several meetings took place behind closed doors, one of which excluded the team manager Zaheer Abbas.
Umpires Hair and Billy Doctrove came out to cheers from a 23,000 crowd who were to be shamefully kept in ignorance of the reason for no cricket for 90 minutes.
At 4.45pm the umpires left the field after the Pakistan team did not appear, and it soon became apparent that the players were refusing to restart the match.
They and Hair have a history, including his perceived peremptory first warning of Danish Kaneria last winter in Pakistan when he was accused of running on the pitch.
Hair was also the umpire who referred to the third umpire the wrongly-given run-out incident of Inzamam who was taking evasive action to avoid being hit.
Earlier in this series the tourists believe several crucial decisions went against them.
In this case, presumably their captain and coach Bob Woolmer wanted to know on what evidence Hair had effectively accused the players of tampering and, by definition, cheating.
Pakistan teams of 20 or 30 years ago were constantly embroiled in similar arguments but there is no more honourable captain in world cricket than Inzamam. Hair is equally proud, strong and stubborn.
Finally, after 45 minutes, Inzamam said that his players would resume the match and out they came.
But this time they were on their own because they had not been preceded by the umpires, who decided that they ran the match and if Pakistan had refused to resume earlier then they ran the risk of forfeiting the match.
The crowd cheered briefly at the sight of the players but that soon turned into ugly booing when they returned to their dressing-room.
In 1973 at Edgbaston the late Arthur Fagg refused to start a day in the white coat in protest at the attitude and alleged remarks the day before of Rohan Kanhai, the West Indies captain, against England.
Alan Oakman deputised for a few minutes, standing at square leg both ends, before Fagg agreed to resume.
Some 12,000 tickets had been sold for today but the last announcement to the crowd after 6pm was that an announcement about play on the last day would be made through the media, as it turned out, not until last yesterday evening.
It was also announced that Sunday spectators will be eligible for a 40 per cent refund on the price of their tickets, while those who have bought for the fifth day will receive a full refund.