Centurion Jonny Bairstow could barely keep the grin off his face after spending about five hours at the crease for England under a blazing Caribbean sun on the first day of the first Test against the West Indies on Tuesday.
In picking up where he left off two months ago in Australia, Bairstow's second century in as many Tests, an unbeaten 109 in Antigua, helped turn the match perhaps slightly in favour of the visitor at stumps.
"I am very passionate about playing Test cricket. I am absolutely delighted. It has been a good start to the year and hopefully that can continue," he said.
In compiling his first century against West Indies, Bairstow was typically punishing of anything that strayed from a good line and length, though West Indies did not help its cause by conceding too many boundaries, all-rounder Jason Holder said.
Holder was certainly not guilty of any profligacy, finishing the day with figures of 2-15 at an average of less than a run an over, but the same could not be said of his less consistent teammates, with 68 of Bairstow's runs coming in boundaries.
"If I'm being overly critical, the only thing I'd pinpoint is the boundaries. The boundary count was pretty high," Holder said after England advanced to 268 for six at stumps.
"Jonny played really well but I think we could have been a little bit tighter in terms of not allowing him to score, particularly on both sides.
"He (hit) the ball to the leg-side quite well, drove the ball well, cut the ball well too."
Fellow pace bowler Kemar Roach (2-71) acknowledged that the host had failed to press home its early advantage.
"The pitch played a lot better than we expected. We started well and I guess lost a little bit after lunch and after tea," he said, nonetheless expressing optimism for day two and beyond.
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"I think it's a very good pitch to bat on. Once the guys get in, I think we'll do a fantastic job of getting the lead."
Bairstow for his part knows there is more work to be done on the second day.
"It will be a big morning session," he said.
"We would like to push on to 320-350. Anything from there is a bonus from the start we had. If you look too far ahead, you can very quickly come up short.
"When we do come to bowl it's about being patient, applying ourselves because it's going to be a bit attritional."
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