Joe Root “got lost” in the emotion of becoming the first Yorkshire batsman to score a maiden Test century at Headingley.
Root has spent the last seven months awakening the world to his talents and reached a milestone many knew was coming today.
Yet the manner of his first hundred was quite exceptional, for Root's 104 not only dragged England from a difficult situation in the second Investec Test against New Zealand but also came in front of an expectant and raucous Yorkshire crowd.
He was unsurprisingly afforded an incredible ovation when entering the fray with England 67 for three, although that greeting paled in comparison to the one received as he embarked upon a wild celebration featuring a jump, dance and scream.
“It was pretty special, very enjoyable and I am sure I will remember it for a long time,” he said. “It is obviously right up there with the best (moments he has had for England).
“I got lost in a bit but you only get your first one once, so you have to enjoy it and it was obviously nice to get there. Emotions took over and that was the result of it.
“I wouldn’t say I was any more nervous (because he was at his home ground). I just tried to read the game situation and play it accordingly and try not to think about anything else.I got a nice reception walking out but, when you get out there, you do not think about much else apart from the ball coming down at you."
He added: “It’s obviously a very nice feeling (to become first Yorkshire player to get maiden Test ton at Headingley).
“To get it anywhere, it would not really matter, but it’s obviously a nice touch.”
Most of Root’s effort came in a brilliant 124-run stand with fellow White Rose batsman Jonny Bairstow, both pictured.
The latter hit an enterprising 64 and was on hand to celebrate with his county team-mate.
“It was great to see Jonny score runs,” Root admitted. “I am sure he really enjoyed it too; I think the partnership was a really good one.
“Hopefully that brings him a lot of confidence for the rest of the game.
“It was nice to see him down the other end having a big smile on his face and it was quite a nice touch to have another Yorkie out there with me.”
After the day’s play, Root was understandably all smiles. However, that was not the case immediately after he edged Trent Boult’s first delivery with the second new ball behind, when his frustration was evident.
“I was obviously disappointed,” he revealed. “It was the first ball with the new ball and that exposed new batters, which is exactly what you don’t want.
“We (he and Bairstow) had just got a 100 partnership together and we knew the next 10 overs were going to be crucial. It took me a while to calm down.”
Immediately after ousting Root, Boult also had Bairstow and Stuart Broad caught behind and threatened to undo England’s hard work.
But Matt Prior, reprieved on 21 when Doug Bracewell shelled a one-handed chance, struck 38 not out in an unbroken half-century stand alongside Graeme Swann, taking the hosts to 337 for seven at the close.
“I think the guys at the end batted really well to get another partnership together,” added Root.
While those efforts were impressive, it was still Root’s name on the lips of many at the ground – including Boult.
"He definitely played extremely well,” said the left-arm seamer. “He looks like he's got a good appraoch to batting and a pretty good gameplan.
"He scores pretty much all round the ground. Well done to him; it’s his first Test hudnred and he did tremendously well."