Jimmy Adams put the Worcestershire attack to the sword and declared: It’s good to be back.
The Hampshire skipper compiled a superb century on day one of the County Championship division two clash with the Pears at the Ageas Bowl.
Adams’ unbeaten 151 out of a dominant 367 for six at the close of play put his men in command of the game as they resumed their bid for four-day promotion.
It was a true captain’s knock – carrying his bat through the day while team-mates came and went.
And particularly sweet for Adams, who was out for a duck in the opening game of the season against Leicestershire.
While he weighed in with two half-centuries against Loughborough MCCU last week, this was the true acid test – and a brilliant return to form.
Adams said: ‘The boys have given me a bit of grief for getting 50 before lunch – they can’t remember the last time that happened!
‘It is nice to be back in the runs. You always want to get off and running early and while the Leicester game was great on the team front, as an individual you want some runs for yourself.
‘So that now feels like a weight has been lifted but there is a lot of work left to do and it’s a long, old season.
‘It took a long time against Loughborough. I was battling trying to find rhythm but it came together slowly. I’ve just been trying to hit as many balls as possible – and fortunately it has come good.’
Former Hambledon keeper-batsman Michael Johnson and Isle of Wight-born bowler Chris Russell were in the Worcestershire side Adams took to task.
The Hampshire skipper compiled his fourth century since taking the reins at the beginning of last term off 194 balls and in little more than four hours.
Adams admitted he was relishing the chance to put his side in the driving seat with his 17th first-class century. But he warned his troops there was still plenty left to do before they could celebrate a first victory of the summer.
‘We have spoken about our bowling – and trying to be simple with our plans,’ said Adams.
‘It’s a case of just trying to hit the same spot – throwing in the odd short ball – but above all keeping the batsmen honest.
‘We did it brilliantly against Leicester, the lads set themselves a nice high standard. Hopefully they will keep the levels up in this game and if we keep doing that, we will get our rewards.
‘The Leicester pitch was a bit greener – possibly a little fresher but time will tell what it has to offer when we bowl.
‘When the cloud came over before the start we considered bowling first – but it is looking like we made the right decision now.’