Southampton: Kevin Pietersen enlivened another heavily weather-disrupted day at the Rose Bowl with a positive 85 as England moved into the lead on 195 for 4. The hosts had quickly wrapped up Sri Lanka for 184, but their reply was a stop-start affair until the skies eventually cleared and then Pietersen and Alastair Cook added 106 for the third wicket before Ian Bell added his own swift contribution.
It was a day of huge frustration for a good crowd as frequent showers moved across the ground, especially during the afternoon session. Their good humour began to abate when the umpires called tea in bright sunshine only for another heavy shower to delay the resumption of the final session. However, the prospect of Pietersen was enough to keep many in their seats during the rain and they were rewarded as England played positively until the close.
Pietersen had looked set for three figures - perhaps even before stumps - and the shot he played to edge Thisara Perera behind, which handed the bowler a notable maiden Test wicket, showed he wasn't in the mood to hold back. There was a hint of width from Perera as Pietersen threw his hands into a drive and his disappointment was clear, but after a hard-working 72 at Lord's this was a clear sign that his game is getting back to full working order.