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Drainage system helps Notts to win Published: 15 August 2014

Lord's briefly resembled a lake
Lord's briefly resembled a lake

The outstanding drainage system at Lord's came to Nottinghamshire's aid as they beat Middlesex in a Royal London One Day Cup Group match.

Full match scorecard

Alex Hales scored a scintillating 141 for the visitors, and James Taylor hit a six off the final ball of the innings to bring up a 55-ball century - but the drainage system was the real star of the evening.

Just five balls into Middlesex's reply, Lord's was battered by a fierce heavy rain shower which left the Mound Stand side of the playing area resembling a new north-west London lake.

But despite the match looking certain to be called off, the Ground drained at a remarkable rate, allowing play to resume an hour-and-a-half later.

Middlesex were set 158 to win from 16 overs, but fell well short, slumping to 80 all out, with only three players making double figures.

Lord's installed the first ever sand-based drainage system at a cricket ground in the UK when it was put in during the 2001/2002 winter.

The entire outfield, but not the square, was dug up and the natural clay-based soil replaced with a sand based one - allowing rain water to drain from the top layer of grass at a faster rate.

Since that winter there has been a drastic reduction in the amount of time spent off the field from rain delays.

The Lord's model has also been followed by the majority of professional clubs around the country, with the ECB providing grants to counties in order to install the new drainage system.

MCC Head Groundsman Mick Hunt praised his staff for their hard work as well as the quality of the system.

He said: "On days like yesterday the drainage system really comes into its own - it has been a huge success for Lord's.

"However, it needs to be carefully handled - particularly in warm weather - to ensure the outfield remains of the highest quality, which is why I'm grateful to have such a brilliant team around me."

Watch how the outfield was replaced back in 2001/02


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