'Frustrated' Newell keen to kick on

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Alex Hales

Alex Hales works Sajid Mahmood off his hips, one of only six deliveries possible on a rain-ruined opening day at Old Trafford

Director of cricket Mick Newell has challenged his Nottinghamshire players to make up for lost time when they resume their title-deciding LV= County Championship Division One clash with Lancashire.

A solitary over was possible on the opening day at Old Trafford in the final game of the season, significantly reducing leaders Notts’ chances of claiming the win – and 22 points – they need to be sure of being crowned champions.

Newell spent much of the day watching the rain fall – he saw Notts progress to eight without loss during a rare dry spell – and his disappointment was compounded by the fact that Somerset and Yorkshire, Notts’ nearest challengers, both managed considerably longer on the field.

Somerset, who sit two points adrift of Notts in second place, made early inroads with the ball against Durham following a delayed start at the Emirates Durham ICG, while Yorkshire, who went into the game five points further adrift, recovered from a dreadful start to reach respectability at Headingley Carnegie.

“It’s very frustrating not to play,” Newell told ecb.co.uk. “You get to the last round of games and you want to get a full game in.

“You can kick and scream about it if you like, but you have just got to get on with it. All we can do is make the most of it when we do get on the field.”

While the near washout today may leave Notts little option but to force the pace later in the game, Newell insists it has had little impact on their immediate gameplan.

“In the short term we have to go about our normal business, and that means getting our bonus batting points in the first innings,” he added. “If we can do that it puts us in a decent position.”

Newell is candid enough to reveal that he and his charges will be keeping a close eye on events in Durham and Leeds over the next three days as an absorbing championship campaign comes to a thrilling climax.

“You’re bound to follow what’s going on elsewhere,” he said. “You’ve got laptops in the dressing room and people have phones, so there’s no point in us not knowing what’s going on elsewhere.

“When you’re not playing you hope other teams aren’t playing either, because come Thursday that could make a difference.

“It looks like it’s a sporting wicket at Yorkshire, so the chances are that there will be a result there.

“If Yorkshire come down on the right side of that, it means we’re going to come under pressure to win here.”

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