Alastair Cook thanked the Ageas Bowl crowd for the kind of reception that he has never experienced before.
The England captain paid tribute to the supporters on the south coast who got behind him with real verve as he attempted to end his recent slump.
And while Cook was left with mixed feelings after being unable to convert his knock of 95 into a Test century, he was thankful to return to form.
Cook said: ‘It was an amazing reception, even when I was walking out to bat.
‘The amount of well-wishers going down the stairs was something else.
‘I’ve never experienced anything like that. It was a really nice feeling.
‘With that noise, it would have been fantastic if I’d have got 100. But even bringing up the 50 was more than I normally get.
‘Mixed feelings sums it up quite well, I guess.
‘It’s frustrating when you are five runs short but if anyone had offered me 95 before the start, I would have snapped their hand off.
While Cook has been the subject of intense criticism, he doesn’t feel that will be the end of it but insists he is just happy to contribute again.
He said: ‘You will never silence everyone or anyone – that is the nature of the beast.
‘It’s given me some confidence that my batting is going in the right direction again. It’s not relief – it’s just a sense of contributing to the team.
‘I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when you keep going out and you keep not scoring runs.
‘Everyone is supporting you but you still feel like you are letting people down.’