Petersen spoils Smith's big day
Alviro Petersen overshadowed South Africa opening partner Graeme Smith's debut as Surrey captain with a superb 167 to put Somerset in a strong position in their LV= County Championship match at the Kia Oval.
As his international skipper, no one knows Petersen's qualities better than Smith and they were evident for much of a day which ended with Somerset 344 for eight in the Division One clash.
Petersen headed to the crease to make a debut innings for his third county in the seventh over after England opener Nick Compton had played on to Jade Dernbach for a duck.
While his team-mates often struggled to time their shots on a slow pitch, Petersen did not offer a chance as he eased to the 31st first-class hundred of his career.
His second 50 came off just 54 balls and he reached his century with successive fours off Gareth Batty - a back-foot force followed by a dismissive pull.
Strong on the leg side against both seam and spin, Petersen looked on course to repeat the double hundred he made at the ground for Glamorgan two years ago when Zander de Bruyn trapped him leg before as he tried to work the ball through midwicket.
He batted for 312 minutes, faced 255 balls and hit 19 fours and a straight six off Batty.
Petersen was the only batsman to look totally at ease in the conditions as the rest of Somerset's top-order struggled to match his fluency.
Skipper Marcus Trescothick, who compiled 25, looked in good touch until he was undone by one that turned in Batty's second over.
Petersen then added 59 for the third wicket with James Hildreth, who played on to Dernbach - the pick of Surrey’s attack - in the first over after lunch having reached 34.
It was the hosts’ only success of the afternoon session as Petersen and Craig Kieswetter added 143 in 42 overs for the fourth wicket with few alarms.
Kieswetter had moved to 43 without too many problems until he had a reckless charge down the wicket at Batty and was easily stumped.
When Dernbach took the second new ball, he dragged Surrey back into contention by claiming two wickets with successive deliveries.
Jos Buttler left a ball that nipped back to hit off stump and Peter Trego edged the next delivery to another Surrey debutant, Vikram Solanki, at second slip.
Alfonso Thomas survived the hat-trick delivery and was still there at stumps, by which time the otherwise-wayward Stuart Meaker had picked up his first wicket by bowling Jamie Overton.