Pietersen digs in to defy Gloucs

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Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen, who made nought and one on his last outing, demonstrated great application in making 40 not out today

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

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

Surrey 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 two 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 three, 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.

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

When Ireland dropped short, Pietersen pulled him for six over deep backward-square leg. 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 when 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 Jon Batty.

After lunch there was 25 minutes play before more rain, which came with Surrey 93 for three and Pietersen on 26.

The players returned to the field at 3.35pm, only to be forced off again for good 10 minutes later just after Pietersen had hit his six.

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