Benoni - Bjorn Fortuin led a largely disciplined bowling performance as the Highveld Lions held the advantage over the Titans at the halfway stage of their Sunfoil Series clash at Willowmoore in Benoni on Friday.
The slow left-armer took 2/21 in 11 overs to restrict the hosts to 146/4 by stumps, still trailing the visitors by 201 runs after they had amassed 347 all out earlier on day two.
Nicky van den Bergh fell one run short of a century, while Nono Pongolo struck a career-best franchise cricket score of 49 not out (129 balls, 7 fours).
The tail-ender put on 80 with Van den Bergh for the ninth wicket, with the latter falling for 99 (203 balls, 8 fours) when he was trapped leg before wicket by Proteas spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who picked up 3/108. The Lions had resumed at the start on 265/8.
The pick of the bowlers was Malusi Siboto with his 3/51, while another Proteas player, Chris Morris - returning from a long-term knee injury - ended with 2/68 in 25 overs.
The Titans reply was a stuttered one as wickets fell at regular intervals.
All four top-order batsmen had starts, but none of them kicked on. Grant Mokoena top-scored with 35, while Aiden Markram (29), Henry Davids (31) and Heino Kuhn (18) failed to make more of their early runs.
Heinrich Klaasen was unbeaten on 26 at the close, with a wicket apiece for Dwaine Pretorius (1/20) and Aya Myoli (1/18).
Hardus Viljoen was the rare bowler that faltered as his 11 overs went for a costly 67, but his side held the upper hand at the close.