Andrew Strauss said a century on his England Test debut at his home ground of Lord's was "too much to take in".
Strauss hit 112 against New Zealand and said afterwards: "It's a dream to get a hundred at Lord's on debut - you can't get better than that."
The left-hander escaped on 91 when he edged a delivery onto his stumps but the bails remained in place.
"Sometimes it is just your day," said the 27-year-old. "Somewhere the gods were smiling down on me."
The Middlesex captain admitted it was easier starting his Test career at home.
"I felt comfortable here; I've played with the slope but it is everything - the lunch, the dressing-rooms," he said.
"I've been in good form all season, coming back from the West Indies.
"I'm never afraid to play shots and it was a good wicket, a good day and the sun was out."
New Zealand vice-captain Chris Cairns paid credit to Strauss and Marcus Trescothick, who made 86 in England's reply on day two at Lord's.
"Strauss played really well and Trescothick too - we were impressed with both on what was a difficult wicket," said Cairns.
The innings blurred memories of Cairns' morning blitz, that saw him gain 82 from 47 balls and set a new Test career record for sixes, with 86.
He admitted: "With the wickets flying, Trescothick had to set attacking fields and it just played into my hands."
However, Cairns believes England, who were 140 behind at stumps, are a long way from securing the match.
"There is enough in the wicket to keep us interested and the second new ball with be crucial," he added.
"The fact that we are bowling last could count for a lot."