Patel guides Notts to the summit
Nottinghamshire moved top of the LV= County Championship Division One table by completing a seven-wicket win over Sussex at the PROBIZ County Ground.
They lead Warwickshire by a single point after wrapping up victory on the final day, although their main rivals do have a game in hand.
Chasing a target of 145 after Sussex had been bowled out for a second-innings 263 on the stroke of lunch, Notts endured a few scares along the way before completing their first championship win at Hove since 1983.
Riki Wessels, whose first-innings 199 helped put his side in control, adopted a positive approach at the start before he came down the pitch to off-spinner Chris Nash and picked out Murray Goodwin on the midwicket boundary, having hit six fours in his 30.
Fellow opener Alex Hales became Sussex captain Michael Yardy's first four-day victim since September 2009 when he edged to slip with the score on 59 and Nottinghamshire still needed 45 runs when Monty Panesar won a leg-before verdict against left-hander Michael Lumb with a ball that kept low.
But on a cracked, dry pitch offering the bowlers plenty of assistance Sussex just did not have enough runs to defend.
Samit Patel, dropped in the same Naveed Arif Gondal over by wicketkeeper Ben Brown and then Yardy, hit his sixth four to secure victory and reach an 88-ball fifty. He added an unbeaten 57 for the fourth wicket with James Taylor.
Earlier, Sussex had lost their last six wickets in the morning session for 57 runs including a spell of four for 20 in seven overs to undermine their hopes of posting a more testing target.
Luke Wright reached his second half-century of the match, adding 107 for the fifth wicket with Goodwin, before he was well taken by the diving Chris Read after aiming a loose drive at Andre Adams.
The New Zealand seamer also picked up the key wicket of Goodwin two overs later when the right-hander, whose 74 from 170 balls was his highest score of the season, clipped a length ball straight to midwicket.
At the other end, Patel picked up Brown and Steve Magoffin as he got deliveries to turn and bounce out of the cracks.
James Anyon and Naveed added 32 for the ninth wicket to give Sussex some hope and the visitors needed to take the second new ball to wrap things up as Naveed drove to point off Andy Carter and Panesar edged to Read to give Harry Gurney his first success of the innings.