Chris Rogers said he was a relieved man after his maiden Test century left Australia well-placed in the fourth Ashes match against England at Chester-le-Street.
Australia were 222 for five when bad light forced an early close to Saturday's second day, just 16 runs behind England's first innings 238, with 35-year-old opener Rogers 101 not out and Brad Haddin unbeaten on 12.
Prior to this series, Rogers had spent five years in the international wilderness following his debut in 2008.
But, having come close to a century with 84 in the drawn third Test at Manchester's Old Trafford, where England retained the Ashes at 2-0 up with two to play, Rogers finally reached the three-figure mark in his fifth Test.
However, he spent 30 minutes on 96, during which time he was rendered scoreless while facing 19 balls, all from off-spinner Graeme Swann.
But the veteran left-hander, who before Saturday had scored 60 first-class hundreds in a prolific domestic career in both Australia and England, finally broke the shackles by sweeping Swann for four to go to his century.
"I didn't have a care in the world," Rogers joked to reporters when he recalled his agonising wait on 96.
"No, it was a nervous time. I got the score in the last game and thought that was maybe my opportunity. It was just a fantastic moment to finally get it."
In contrast to many current players, there was no wild celebration from Rogers when he reached three figures, just a traditional raising of the bat.
"I'm not a huge 'celebrator' but I guess after all this time playing a lot of domestic cricket, to get this opportunity is one that I never thought I would, and to get a hundred is just something you can only dream of.
"I guess you just want to soak it up and that's probably why I was like that," Rogers said.
Rogers, who made his first-class debut in 1998/99, said this innings meant he'd proved to himself he belonged at Test level.
"I wanted to believe I was good enough but never knew. To get a hundred that's something that no one can take away from me."
"It was emotional out there...It was my day today. There were so many things that went my way. You've just got to make the most of it and fortunately I did."
Rogers was given out caught behind on 20 off Stuart Broad, who led England's attack with four for 48, before challenging umpire Tony Hill's verdict.
The much-criticised Hot Spot element of the controversial Decision Review System indicated Rogers hadn't hit the ball.
Although the ball hit Rogers' back pad, tracking technology said it would have just clipped the bails and the 'umpire's call' verdict meant Rogers was not out lbw either.
"You know when you don't hit it," said Rogers, dropped on 49 by second slip Swann off Broad.
"I knew the rule there. When it came up as 'umpire's call' I was pretty sure that I wasn't out."
Broad produced a superb new ball spell that saw David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Australia captain Michael Clarke, the tourists' star batsman, all fall cheaply as Rogers watched from the other end.
"That was an unbelievable spell. I thought I was covering the ball and then it nipped away. It was a beautiful spell," said Rogers.
"Fortunately I got dropped and played and missed a lot. You need that. These guys are top-class bowlers. You know that they're going to perform. To have a little bit of luck, I'll take it."