Fresh of a successful Big Bash League campaign, Fairfield Liverpool spinner Arjun Nair took his first five-wicket haul in more than three years on Saturday to help restrict Sydney University to 263 at Rosedale Oval.
Losing the toss and bowling, the Lions fought back in the afternoon session after the visitors had at one stage reached 1-99.
Nair (5-73 off 33 overs) and Matt Critchley (3-87 off 28.3 overs) were part of the primarily spin attack with 72 of the 96 overs being sent down by slow bowlers.
Hayden Kerr (52), David Miller (50) and William Masojada (48 not out) handled the conditions the best and held the innings together after the Lions roared back in the middle session taking 3-8. The Lions, who sit two points ahead of last-placed UNSW, can force their way up a congested ladder with a win against the second-placed students after recording three-straight draws.
Meanwhile, day one action between Blacktown Mounties and UNSW at Joe McAleer was washed out.