Cape Town - Career-best figures by Aaron Phangiso helped the Highveld Lions claim the advantage after the opening day of their Sunfoil Series encounter against the Warriors at Buffalo Park in East London on Thursday.
The Proteas spinner claimed five for 56 - also his maiden five-for at franchise level - as the hosts were bundled out for 193.
Even though the visitors were reduced to 77/3 by stumps to trail by 116 runs, they were still in control in what is the first match of the second half of the four-day season.
The Warriors, fresh from winning a share of the One-Day Cup over the past weekend, struggled with the bat after winning the toss and batting.
Colin Ackermann top-scored with 55 (68 balls, 11 fours), but there was little else in terms of substantial support.
Yaseen Vallie (36), Gihahn Cloete (26) and Simon Harmer (27 not out) had starts without kicking on as the home side were shot out in 61.5 overs.
Apart from Phangiso's five, which bettered his three for 36 against the same opponents from 2015/16, Wiaan Mulder also excelled with three for 42.
The Lions fell into early trouble after losing captain Stephen Cook (10) and Reeza Hendricks (5) cheaply - Tladi Bokako and Anrich Nortje the men to strike.
But Omphile Ramela hit 31 and an unbeaten 26 by Rassie van der Dussen gave the visitors the advantage by the close.