Smith suffered a frustrating debut as Surrey captain as his compatriot Alviro Petersen hit a superb 167 to put Somerset in a strong position.
London: South Africa star Graeme Smith suffered a frustrating debut as Surrey captain as his compatriot Alviro Petersen hit a superb 167 to put Somerset in a strong position in their County Championship match at the Oval on Wednesday.
Smith knows all about Petersen's strengths and weaknesses after batting alongside him at the top of the order in the South Africa team.
But he couldn't make that inside knowledge pay off as Petersen's impressive knock helped Somerset reach 344 for eight at the close of play on the first day.
Smith's first taste of action with Surrey went wrong from the start as he lost the toss, with Somerset electing to bat.
Petersen came in to make his 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.
Petersen looked on course to repeat the double hundred he made at the Oval for Glamorgan two years ago when Zander de Bruyn trapped him leg before as he tried to work the ball through mid-wicket.
He batted for 312 minutes, faced 255 balls and hit 19 fours and a straight six off Batty.
Petersen's departure was a relief for Smith, who hopes to make a big impact at Surrey after signing a three-year contract with the south London-based team.
The 32-year-old, who has previously had stints in county cricket with Hampshire and Somerset, is not the only star name in the Surrey squad.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen, currently sidelined due to injury, and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who arrives in June to cover for Smith during the ICC Champions Trophy, are also on the county's books.