Jonathan Trott and James Vince put up stiff resistance to deny South Africa A a quick victory in the second unofficial Test, in Bloemfontein, on Tuesday.
The Lions were 212-4 at the close, holding a lead of 51, after conceding a first-innings deficit of 161.
The South African innings, resuming on 389-7, did not last long. In the sixth over of the day Rory Kleinveldt was caught behind after adding just 13 runs to his score, and three overs later Liam Plunkett cleaned up the tail with 421 on the board. The lead though, was a useful 161.
Once again, though, the Lions were under pressure when Kagiso Rabada dismissed Yorkshire team-mates Adam Lyth and Alex Lees in consecutive overs after lunch, leaving the tourists tottering on 81-3, still 80 runs behind. They had been rebuilding after Kleinveldt dismissed Sam Robson with just one run scored.
But Trott called on all his 49-Tests experience to stop the slide, alongside Vince. Together they defied the South African attack for 29 overs, putting on 115 runs at almost four an over.
Finally, it was the off-spin of Dane Piedt that got the breakthrough, trapping Trott lbw. He had scored 53 from 82 balls with seven fours, and at 196-4, the Lions had a lead of 33.
The battle came to a halt for a short, sharp storm 56 overs into the day, but they came back on to play into the setting sun two hours later. When stumps were finally drawn, Vince had moved on to 61, off 122 balls with 11 fours while Jonny Bairstow was on two.
With a lead of just 51 going into the final day, they are going to have continue to fight for a while.