Migael Pretorius and Malusi Siboto shared six wickets to help the Lions move into an imperious position after day three of their 4-Day Domestic Series encounter with the Knights in Kimberley on Wednesday.
The pair struck some timely blows at the Diamond Oval that ensured their side went to the change of innings with a lead of 143, which was then extended to 232 by the close thanks to an unbeaten 44-run, fourth-wicket stand between Dominic Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen.
Pretorius claimed 3-66 and Siboto 3-65, with the central franchise initially dismissed for 325.
The Knights had plenty of starts but failed to make the most of them and in the end were reliant on rookie fast bowler Gerald Coetzee (48 not out) for getting them to as close as they did.
They started day three batting on 173-3 and fell into early trouble when Pretorius took out both overnight men, Patrick Kruger (21) and Pite van Biljon (48).
In between that, Siboto accounted for Andries Gous for nought, before Coetzee, coupled with Shaun von Berg (34) ensured their side were still in the game despite being dismissed close to 150 runs in arrears.
And they appeared to be clawing their way back when the defending champion Lions were reduced to 45-3 in the 17th over thanks to a wicket each for Coetzee (1-20), Thando Mnyaka (1-13) and Von Berg (1-31).
However, Proteas batsman Van der Dussen struck 26 and Hendricks a patient 33 that took their side to the close on 89-3.