Scotland maintained its impressive start to the 2019 World Cup after a 4-1 victory over United Arab Emirates on Tuesday in Wuxi.
The pairing of John Higgins and Stephen Maguire represents one of the favourites for this year’s edition of the biennial invitational tournament.
While they haven’t yet discovered their formidable scoring shoes, with eight points already the Scots are well-placed to advanced beyond the round-robin phase.
Higgins and Maguire went all the way to the final in 2015 when they were shocked by Chinese teenagers Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong while Higgins, of course, was a member of the fabled “Dream Team” of the 1996 World Cup winning side that also included Stephen Hendry and Alan McManus.
Scotland tops Group C alongside Belgium, who also secured a second successive 4-1 triumph on day two.
The Belgians, led by Luca Brecel, overcame Israel with a comprehensive win and Malaysia stayed in the hunt with a 3-2 success over Cyprus.
Both Chinese teams also maintained their positive starts to the 2019 World Cup.
China A’s Yan and Ding Junhui overcame Norway to stand in the lead of Group A and already three points ahead of their closest rivals.
There appears set to be a huge battle for the second spot available into the knockout phase from that group with the remaining five teams separated by only two points.
In Group D, China B edged Malta by the odd frame to remain in pole position for a place in the quarter-finals.
The Welsh partnership of Mark Williams and Ryan Day joined them on eight points with a 4-1 defeat of Australia.
Switzerland’s second 3-2 victory means that Alexander Ursenbacher’s unit aren’t too far behind in third, though.
Finally, a tight early exchange means that there are only three points between first and last position in Group B.
Northern Ireland came from 2-0 down to beat Hong Kong in a decider, in doing so advancing to first in the group with seven points.
England’s Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski are not too far behind with 6 points but there’s plenty of mileage left before the outcome there is determined.
The round-robin phase sees all nations compete against each other once over the best of five frames – with two singles, a doubles encounter, and two reverse singles matches required.
Each frame won provides each country with a point in the group, with the top two countries after the league stages advancing to the quarter-finals.
Live coverage of the 2019 World Cup is on Eurosport.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET