Mick Newell hailed the efforts of Phil Jaques as he scored 79 in his final innings of the season for Nottinghamshire.

The Australian opener still has work to do in the field before returning home at the end of his short term deal, with Warwickshire needing 228 more runs today to win a fascinatingly poised County Championship game.

However, he can be more than satisfied with a final tally of 894 runs at an average of 49.66 in first-class games. 

Director of cricket Newell said: "Jaques has been brilliant. He's very professional.

"Even in the last game he's churning them out when he's going home (today). It's terrific he's given us something at the top of the order we've not had for a while.

"He only came over for two or three months but he's been a great example for our other players."

In terms of the match, Newell admits the game is in the balance with Notts having let positions of control slip on more than one occasion. They were bowled out for 225 yesterday, leaving Warwickshire needing 289 to win. They were 61 for two at stumps.

"Over the first two days we missed a number of opportunities to set it up better. It's in the balance but 290 is an awful lot to get in the last innings. That's our hope anyway," he said.

"There were one two disappointing shots in our second innings but there was variable bounce. (Alex) Hales got one that kept low and (James) Taylor and Jaques got out when there was some swing out there.

"We'll always feel we're in with a chance but they bat deeper than anyone. Until we get (last man) Boyd Rankin out we won't feel we've won the game." 

If Notts lose, it could deal a major blow to their title hopes, but if they win, Newell feels the race is closing in on being between just them and Yorkshire.

"The psychological side is something you have to deal with. If we lose, we lose," he said. "If we win it puts us in a strong position – only Yorkshire are really anywhere near."

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