Australia's Lucas Herbert is battling to stay in the hunt at the Dubai Desert Classic after posting a second-round 71 to lie four shots off the lead at the European Tour event.
The 24-year-old Victorian, who opened with a decent 69 on Thursday, had a mixed second day at Emirates Golf Club, leaving him in a group of four players sharing 11th place.
Herbert carded two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey on his way out. But after rattling off four successive birdies from the 10th to the 13th, he dropped shots at 15 and 17 to leave him four-under for the tournament.
England's Eddie Pepperell grabbed a one-shot lead on a day of slightly calmer winds as he banked a five-under-par 67 to get to eight-under overall.
Pepperell holds a narrow lead over defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, Ryder Cup European vice-captain Robert Karlsson and South Africa's Dean Burmester.
American DeChambeau made a fast start with three straight birdies and recovered from a bogey at the sixth hole to take advantage of the par-five 10th.
A missed green led to another bogey at the 15th but he gained a stroke on the 17th to get back to seven-under.
Burmester, who was involved in car crash on Wednesday, mixed five birdies with a sole bogey for a round of 68, while Karlsson remained in contention with gains on the final two holes.
Overnight leader Thomas Pieters, of Belgium, had a day to forget, finishing with a second round 77 to make the cut but slumped to a share of 32nd place on level par.
Australia's Jason Scrivener improved on his first-round 77 by returning a solid 69 but compatriot Wade Ormsby could only muster a second succussive 74 to leave him joint 79th.