Cricket: Notts `will not ease up'

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ALAN ORMROD, the Nottinghamshire cricket manager, has promised that his struggling side will not ease up during their difficult run-in to the end of the season. The East Midlanders, who lost their last match to County Championship leaders Surrey, still have to play the other three title contenders in the final four weeks of the season - starting with the derby with third-placed Leicestershire at Worksop today.

Their games with Leicestershire, Lancashire - who are second - and fourth- placed Gloucestershire will go a long way towards determining who wins the title, and Ormrod has pledged his team will be no pushovers for anyone.

"We've got to get ourselves sorted and play some good cricket," said Ormrod, whose side are currently 15th. "We've got to keep going to try to get into a respectable position. There are no bad sides in the County Championship - it's just a matter of who gets the rub of the green at that particular time. We've got to try and match up with the top boys."

Nottinghamshire's overseas star Paul Strang will make his farewell appearance before leaving to play for Zimbabwe in the Commonwealth Games.

Leicestershire have the chance to make up ground on their title rivals Surrey and Lancashire, who both have a week off. Their coach, Jack Birkenshaw, admitted at the start of the month that his side, who currently stand third, had to win their final six games to stand a chance of lifting the crown for the second time in three years. They hope to have their captain, Chris Lewis, back after missing the last three Championship matches with a back injury.

Dominic Cork (on England duty) and Phillip DeFreitas (bruised heel) miss Derbyshire's match against Durham at Derby.