Pietersen battles through the gloom to lift Surrey

Surrey 112 for 3 v Gloucestershire

Kevin Pietersen had to battle against showers, bad light and the Gloucestershire attack in the bid to rediscover some batting form on the opening day of the County Championship Division Two match at Bristol.

Only 27 overs were possible in four sessions, but Pietersen managed to end up unbeaten on 40 in a Surrey total of 112 for 3. Rory Hamilton-Brown was 28 not out and the pair had added 67 for the fourth wicket.

Surrey had elected to bat first, despite the heavily overcast conditions and were reduced to 45 for three as Jon Lewis, Anthony Ireland and Gemaal Hussain shared the wickets.

Pietersen came in at 37 for 2 and got off the mark first ball with a shot through the covers for three. The England batsman then off-drove Ireland for four and whipped Hussain through midwicket for another boundary as he got into his stride.

He was unbeaten on 16 at lunch, with Surrey 68 for 3, and after rain had delayed the resumption until 1.40pm he took two more fours off the first over of the afternoon session from James Franklin, both the result of well-timed cuts off short deliveries.

Pietersen was soon confident enough to be marching down the wicket to experienced seamer Jon Lewis and looked in little trouble in the bowler-friendly conditions.

When Ireland dropped short, Pietersen pulled him for six over deep backward square. By the time the umpires abandoned play for the day at 5pm he had also struck five fours in facing 59 balls. Hamilton-Brown was typically positive in scoring his runs off 37 deliveries, with three fours, and together the pair dug Surrey out of a hole.

A stop-start day was signalled when the players had to run for cover after just one ball. The game restarted at 11am and was uninterrupted until lunch.

Lewis made the breakthrough with the total on 15 as Jason Roy edged to Chris Dent at second slip and departed for 11. Opening partner Tom Lancefield followed for the same score when he got a leading edge to Ireland and Hamish Marshall accepted the catch running around from third slip.

Mark Ramprakash had made 15 when he was undone by a lifter from Hussain, which resulted in a catch for former Surrey wicketkeeper Jonathan Batty.

After lunch there was 25 minutes play before more rain, which came with Surrey 93 for 3 and Pietersen on 26. The players returned to the field at 3.35pm only to be forced off again 10 minutes later just after Pietersen had hit his six. That proved the final action as the clouds gathered and drizzle remained in the air.

Gloucs 4th innings Partnerships

1st8WTS PorterfieldCDJ Dent
2nd25APR GidmanCDJ Dent
3rd88JEC FranklinCDJ Dent
4th6JMR TaylorCDJ Dent
5th89HJH MarshallCDJ Dent
6th3JN BattyCDJ Dent
7th19CG TaylorCDJ Dent
8th1J LewisCG Taylor
9th11CG TaylorGM Hussain
10th0AJ IrelandGM Hussain