Hend, a previous winner of the event, Scrivener who has finished 3rd in Hong Kong previously and Higginbottom, battling for survival on the Asian Tour, are at 6 under and still potentially in contention should Rai’s brilliance on the opening two days wane over the weekend.
Hend has struggled in recent months, issues with injury continuing to plague his season in 2018 and this is his first real glimpse of form since the middle of the season.
Defending champion Wade Ormsby of South Australia is the next best of the Australians in a tie for 22nd, another former winner, Sam Brazel, is 30th along with European Tour debutante, Deyen Lawson, while Terry Pilkadaris is 44th.
Rai, who recorded a brilliant second round of 61, leads by four over Korea's Hyowon Park with England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick another two shots back in 3rd place alone.
The event has a prize fund of US$2 million.
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