Yorks win but prepare to lose Gillespie
Yorkshire 146 for 4 (Gale 68*) beat Nottinghamshire 143 for 7 (Patel 41, Plunkett 2-18) by six wickets
If ever there was a night when a lack of focus might have been forgiven this was it but Yorkshire ignored off-field distractions to register only their second win in nine Twenty20 matches against Nottinghamshire, whose win at Headingley eliminated them in the group stages last season.
They did so in the knowledge that the parting of the ways with Jason Gillespie appears now to be imminent, following Thursday's meeting between the Yorkshire coach and England's cricket director, Andrew Strauss.
Speaking ahead of play here, Gillespie said that, although it was business as usual for the moment, he had enjoyed "a really good chat" with Strauss and Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, as he considers the vacant position of England head coach.
Gillespie's departure would leave a mighty hole to fill but whoever takes over will inherit a team infused with his winning ethic, epitomised here in a disciplined bowling performance followed by a steadily efficient dismantling of Nottinghamshire's attempts to salvage something from a below-par night for their batsmen.
Glenn Maxwell arrived with the promise of fireworks but it was Andrew Gale, the captain, who ultimately subdued a crowd of 9375. Gale's unbeaten 68 off 55 balls was for the most part an essay in careful shot placement and judicious running. Only once did he strike two boundaries in the same over, although he did end with a flourish, lofting one of Sam Wood's offbreaks over the rope at long-on to win the match with his only six.
It saw Yorkshire home win seven balls to spare, ready to move on to Taunton for a four-day match, still with Gillespie at the helm but with the likelihood of an announcement about his future next week.
Playing with a very straight bat in the briefest of interviews for Sky TV, Gillespie said: "It was made very clear to me that there are a number of people that the ECB are talking to about the role and they have a process they need to go through. Until I hear anything else I am going to continue as normal in my job with Yorkshire."
Gillespie had said earlier this week that it would take "a lot of persuading" for him to leave Headingley, where he has developed close bonds with the players and staff during his three successful seasons, but sources close to the county say Yorkshire are resigned to him leaving if he is offered the post.
On the field, asked to bat first on the same pitch on which Birmingham had scored 141 for 7 a week ago, a total that proved insufficient, a Nottinghamshire line-up without Alex Hales managed only two runs more.
Thanks to some extraordinary hitting by Hales - not yet back from his so-far somewhat pointless IPL jaunt with Mumbai Indians - Nottinghamshire were over the line in the 15th over last week.
In his absence, and with Vernon Philander left out, the home county went with a couple of allrounders in Wood and Will Gidman, but filling the breach was down to one of the recognised batsmen and none could deliver an innings of real magnitude.
Greg Smith, promoted to open, did a reasonable job, hitting 27 off 29 balls including three boundaries in the same over off 17-year-old Matthew Fisher, for whom things did not go quite so well compared with last week's five-wicket heroics against Derbyshire.
Samit Patel's 41 off 27 balls had its moments but Nottinghamshire needed more. Steven Mullaney's 38 off 28 was typically enterprising, although he might have been out on 13 when Gale got a brave hand to a full blooded smash at extra cover and should have been on 15 when Andrew Hodd dropped him a wide long-on.
Yorkshire's most effective bowlers were two on whom Gillespie may call to his cause again in the national interest. Liam Plunkett, one of the unused Yorkshire quartet in the Caribbean, bowled with mature discipline, conceding only 18 runs and bowling 13 dots in his four overs, as well as claiming the wickets of both Taylors, Brendan and James, in the latter instance with a ball that took the outside edge and was taken at full stretch by a diving Jonny Bairstow.
Adil Rashid, his fellow tourist, offered glimpses of his craft too in four tidy overs. Jack Brooks dropped out to accommodate Maxwell.
Harry Gurney opened with that rarest of T20 commodities, a maiden, as Nottinghamshire sought to defend their modest gains but after Gale and Andrew Hodd had put on 61 in 8.3 overs for the first wicket, Yorkshire always had the upper hand.
They lost Hodd and Alex Lees in consecutive overs, the latter to a clever slower ball from Mullaney into spooning an easy catch to cover, after which the loss of Bairstow, caught off a towering top edge after looking in the mood to do something spectacular, required a momentary drawing of breath from Yorkshire but with Luke Fletcher, deadly against Birmingham, unable to make any impression this time the tide did not look like turning.