They built a stand of 126 in 43 overs and helped their side reach 227 for 6 by the close after showers cut the day short by 37 overs. At one stage, the middle-order pairing pushed Middlesex to 142 for 2 but, for the most part, the juicy Oval pitch enabled the seamers to keep the upper hand. Gatting's 52 included eight fours and took 95 balls before he was bowled by Adam Hollioake. Ramprakash was caught at the wicket off Martin Bicknell for 80 off 180 balls with nine fours.
Only 52 overs were possible at Edgbaston, where Warwickshire's wicketkeeper Michael Burns hit a Championship-best 44 not out to steer his side to 148 for 3 against Nottinghamshire. England opener Nick Knight, playing his first Championship match for six weeks after his finger injuries, was out for 33.
Matthew Keech struck a career-best 104 to revive Hampshire on the second day of their match against Sussex at Arundel. The former Middlesex batsman batted for four and a half hours as Hampshire made 270 on a slow wicket and, in reply, Sussex stumbled to 82 for 3.
Only 34 deliveries were possible at Old Trafford, where Jason Gallian and Steve Titchard guided Lancashire to 17 without loss against Worcestershire.
There was no play until after lunch at Bristol, but the Glamorgan openers, Steve James and Hugh Morris, quickly made up for lost time, both plundering unbeaten centuries against hapless Gloucestershire as the Welshmen closed on 233 without loss.