Michael Bates toasted his maiden century and declared: There’s more where that came from.
The talented Hampshire wicketkeeper told The News only last week that he was determined to fire his first ton in first-class cricket to prove the critics wrong who doubted his batting ability.
And Bates was true to his word, delivering in style with a classy 155-ball knock that included 19 fours, as he celebrated reaching three figures for the first time in Championship cricket.
Bates, who was on 88 overnight, said: ‘It’s nice to do it so soon after talking about it recently and so early in the season.
‘And it really gives me confidence going forward.
‘I was a little bit nervous waiting overnight but it was very nice to get it under my belt and hopefully that’s the first of many.
‘It was a bit strange because I’d scored the majority of my runs the day before so it felt like I had done all the hard work, but it was more relief than anything when I got there.
‘It was a long wait – especially when it rained in the morning – but I finally got there and I was thrilled to bits.
‘I just tried to bat in the same way I had on day one and employ the same mental attitude. I was a little bit nervous so I did well to hide it!
‘It feels like the start of something big but I feel like my batting has come on in leaps and bounds.’
While it was a fine innings, Bates admitted his disappointment that he was unable to go on after a mix-up with Simon Katich – who hit a brilliant 196 – that saw the youngster run out soon after raising his bat to the crowd.
Bates said: ‘Kat hit a decent shot straight down the ground, the bowler tried to run me out with a little flick on it, I dived to get my ground at that end and then Kat had set off.
‘Once he’d set off, I had to go and, unfortunately, I got run out but never mind.
‘I felt in good nick and felt I could have scored a lot more so it was a disappointing end. But it was good to get the milestone.
‘Kat was very apologetic and said sorry quite a few times.
‘It happens. I’m glad he did it after I’d got to 103 rather than in the 90s!’
With Yorkshire closing day two on 100 for three, Bates believes Hampshire are now in a good position to put the hosts under pressure.
He said: ‘We’ve had a bit of rain but it’s not really affected our progress.
‘And we’ve got a good score on the board and given the bowlers something to bowl at so we’re in a good position.
‘We bowled excellently and we were a bit unlucky with a few things and some edges here and there.
‘But hopefully things can go our way from here.’