Brooks enjoys Lions clash
Jack Brooks was delighted as his "whirlwind couple of years" continued with three wickets for the Lions against West Indies on Thursday.
Brooks, on his home ground and returning to the scene of his first-class debut against Australia at the age of 24 less than three years ago, finished with three for 23.
After the Lions had closed a truncated first day of four on 40 for one in reply, the seamer reflected on his success on a helpful pitch - as well as his late start, then rapid progress, in professional cricket.
"It's been a bit of a whirlwind couple of years," he said.
"I've enjoyed every last minute, and I hope the ride upwards hasn't finished yet and I can keep on going."
Brooks did not rise above Cherwell League cricket with his village team Tiddington until he was into his 20s.
"I played village cricket till I was 20 or 21. I just wasn't very good when I was younger.
"Physically, mentally - certainly mentally - I wasn't ready for it. I still had the mentality of a club cricketer.
"I'm still a glorified club cricketer now. But I've worked really hard on my game and my fitness over the years - with a few gentle pushes along the way from coaches, who've told me to start believing in my ability."
Brooks, Stuart Meaker (three for 42) and fellow seamers Jade Dernbach and Matt Coles were delighted when Lions captain James Taylor won the toss under heavy cloud cover and after overnight rain.
"We were all licking our lips the last couple of days; we knew what conditions would be, pretty much.
"There's always a bit in it on this deck anyway for the seamers, even in August when they're a bit hard.
"But we bowled very well as a unit today, and got our rewards."
Occasionally, the swinging ball seemed to do a little too much.
"It was a little bit wide at times, if anything, a little bit too short. But I knew if I got it right I'd be in the game," said Brooks.
"Meaks proved that as well, with his spell from the bottom end."