Dawid Malan admitted he was on the verge of tears after becoming England's first centurion on the current Ashes series to cap a strong start to the third Test for the tourists at the Waca.
England finished on 305 for four at the close in Perth, their highest innings of the series to date, as Malan made his maiden Test century.
With the Ashes on the line after two consecutive losses, Malan's haul opened a window for England to keep their series alive in Australia.
In tandem with Jonny Bairstow, who finished the day on 75 not out after being promoted to No6 in the batting order, the 30-year-old's 110 not out helped England rally from a potentially perilous 131 for four to a commanding position.
Malan, who only made his Test debut this summer, said he was nearly overcome with emotion after realising a lifelong dream with his first Test ton.
"I was so emotional," he said.
"I didn't really know what to do, I almost started crying when it happened. To do it in front of my parents, the sacrifices they made. It's nice to repay them.
"With anything you do, you need self-belief, to feel like you belong. When you get your first hundred, you have that belief to trust your game. I might never get a run again, but you still have the belief to perform at the highest level.
"You like bed at night thinking about scoring a hundred, I didn't even know what to do. You always play through your head about how you're going to score a hundred at some point.
"Nice to do it under pressure and when the team needs it."
Before Malan came to the crease Alastair Cook's travails on this Ashes series continued as he was dismissed for seven by a plumb lbw courtesy of Mitchell Starc.
Fellow opener Mark Stoneman, who had to be checked for concussion after being struck by a Mark Hazlewood bouncer, appeared more at ease and notched 56.
Before Stoneman was controversially dismissed on a tight review call, James Vince and Joe Root both nicked to wicketkeeper Tim Paine after quickly scoring 25 and 20 respectively.
But England's mood was lifted as Malan became only the fourth Englishman to score a hundred at the Waca in 30 years.