Alviro Petersen steals limelight on Graeme Smith's Surrey debut
Somerset 344-8 v Surrey
Wednesday 17 April 2013
The south London locals turned up at The Oval in anticipation of witnessing a South African Test opener make his county debut. However, the toss of a coin meant they spent the day watching the wrong one.
Instead of enjoying Graeme Smith at the crease the Surrey crowd endured Alviro Petersen constructing a century of impressive dimensions on his Somerset debut. It was left to Jade Dernbach's new-ball pyrotechnics to warm a home crowd chilled by Petersen's 167 off 255 balls.
That innings provided the backbone to Somerset's 344 for 8 and, at one stage, threatened to ruin Smith's debut but Dernbach's fizz and late contributions from Stuart Meaker and Zander de Bruyn ensured the day ended honours even.
Petersen has mixed memories of this ground. It was here, back in 2011 for Glamorgan, where he struck his maiden first-class double century. That superlative innings helped earn an international recall that saw him play against England at The Oval last year. On that occasion he registered a duck as South Africa racked up a score of 637 for 2.
It was a duck that brought Petersen to the crease as early as the seventh over. Fellow international opener Nick Compton played on to a fuller delivery from Dernbach. Leaden feet were to blame for the demise of Compton's 18-ball stay and a tentative mindset – unbecoming a Test batsman in Ashes year – was behind his failure.
It is not for his monumental batting alone that Richard Gould, Surrey's chief executive, brought Smith to the club. The fact is no one player has captained in as many Tests as the South African. He made his presence felt when he turned to spin in just the 16th over, around midday, in the middle of an English April. It took Gareth Batty eight balls to justify the gamble, trapping Marcus Trescothick leg-before for 25.
Surrey had to wait until the first over after lunch for the next wicket. Smith tossed the ball to a fired-up Dernbach, a bowler with plenty to prove. James Hildreth had looked composed for his 34 but Dernbach's extra back-bending did for him. After Batty undid Craig Kieswetter's hard work, bringing to an end a 143-run partnership with Petersen, Dernbach returned to light the fuse with the new ball. Jos Butler, eager to upstage Kieswetter with bat and gloves, was halted in his tracks on 19 by the extra pace Dernbach generated with the fresh cherry.
The very next ball the 26-year-old paceman induced an edge from Peter Trego that was well-held by Vikram Solanki. Petersen's ambitions to see out the day were then thwarted by De Bruyn, who trapped the centurion lbw. The next over Meaker discovered some hitherto hidden menace to bowl Jamie Overton and leave Somerset eight down.
The day may have belonged to the wrong South African but thanks to the penetrative excellence of Dernbach, the south London locals who turn up at The Oval will be finally able witness the right one.
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Transfer news: Manchester United step up chase for Internazionale midfielder Fredy Guarin - reports
Ashes 2013/14 third Test: Is Waca on the way out?
Manchester City should have known rules in Bayern Munich match, says Rafa Benitez
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white