England new boy Smith hits ton for Surrey against Essex

Surrey's Jamie Smith
Jamie Smith is the latest Surrey player to get an England call [Getty Images]

Vitality County Championship Division One, Kia Oval (day one)

Surrey 248-8: Smith 100; Bosch 3-52

Essex: Yet to bat

Essex 2 pts, Surrey 0 pts

Match scorecard

Jamie Smith produced the perfect dress rehearsal for next month's England debut on day one of Surrey's top-of-the-table clash with Essex at The Oval.

Named on Sunday morning as the only wicketkeeper in England's 14-man squad for the first Test against the West Indies a week on Wednesday, Smith struck his second century of the season.

Smith, 23, made exactly 100, with two sixes and 14 fours, as the hosts reached 248-8 on a rain-shortened day of 79 overs in south London.

Smith's heroics apart, Surrey struggled against some probing bowling by second-placed Essex, as South African fast bowler Eathan Bosch returned 3-52 in only his second appearance for the county.

Play began on time after morning drizzle but only two overs were possible before the rain returned, forcing the players from the field until after an early lunch.

Dom Sibley and Rory Burns put on 41 for the first wicket but Essex hit back to reduce the reigning champions to 100-4, with England quartet Sibley (26), Dan Lawrence (6), Burns (26) and Ben Foakes (7) the men out.

But Smith stood firm and his ninth four, crunched square, took him to 50 in 70 balls as he and Sai Sudharsan shared a stand of 70, of which the Indian youngster's contribution was 13.

The stand was broken in strange circumstances after Jamie Porter was forced off mid-over after appearing to dislocate a finger. Paul Walter took up the cause for the visitors and, just two balls later, found the edge of Sudharsan's bat, to the safe hands of Simon Harmer at slip.

But nothing was going to derail Smith from a day of destiny as, batting at four, he twice cleared the ropes on the way to a century sealed by a quickly run single.

However, he was out to the next delivery he faced, castled after missing a straight one in Matt Critchley's first over.

Jordan Clark did not stay around for long and Ryan Patel's burgeoning innings was cut short by the first ball of a new spell from Shane Snater which pierced his defence as Surrey slipped late on from 203-5.