Ben Stokes reflected on day two of the second Ashes Test with mixed emotions.
Stokes, making his England five-day bow at the Adelaide Oval, claimed his first format wicket, of Michael Clarke for 148, en route to figures of 2-70.
But he could not stop Australia, who resumed on 273 for five, racking up 570 for nine declared as Brad Haddin’s 118 and Ryan Harris’ unbeaten 55 complemented Clarke’s effort.
England subsequently closed on 35 for one, Alastair Cook falling to the searing pace of Mitchell Johnson for three, and face an uphill battle to avoid going 2-0 behind in the series.
“It is always nice to get your first wicket out of the way,” he told ecb.co.uk. “You can go searching for it and try a little bit too hard.
“To eventually get it was a very proud moment.”
It was something of an ordeal for Stokes to finally enjoy his moment, having earlier had Haddin caught behind from a no-ball.
“It was (a bit gutting) but it’s one of those things that happens,” he added. “Nobody means to bowl no-balls but I just had to make sure I put it behind me.”
Speaking about his Test debut, Stokes admitted: “I have absolutely loved it so far.
“The challenge has been brilliant; I have thoroughly enjoyed it and hopefully there are plenty more to come.”
For now, the focus will remain on the here and now.
Most pressing for England tomorrow is to bat long as they seek to claw their way back into the contest.
“We have got to put the last two days behind us and concentrate solely on what we have to do with the bat now,” he said. “We know the wicket is good and we have got to capitalise on that. The belief is definitely still there.”