Eight teams remain in the hunt for global glory with the Snooker World Cup quarter-finals set to take place on Saturday in Wuxi.
China remains on course for a fourth consecutive title on home soil after both of their partnerships safely negotiated the round-robin phase.
In 2011, the year in which the World Cup was relaunched, and again two years ago, Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo paired up to triumph.
Those victories sandwiched another shock success for then teenagers Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong in 2015.
All four competitors are competing in the 2019 edition but, on this occasion, ranking positions have determined that the couples be mixed up.
Home hero Ding, then, is bidding for a third crown alongside Yan for China A while China B comprises Liang and Zhou.
While both teams will fancy their chances of advancing beyond the World Cup quarter-finals, with a possible final against one another on the cards, Ding’s unit undoubtedly boasts the easier initial path.
China A has drawn the weakest team on paper in the form of Hong Kong, who dramatically secured its passage through to the knockout phase on Friday with a last gasp defeat of Iran.
With just one point separating the two teams heading into their crunch match against each other, both were aware that a victory would be enough to move into the World Cup quarter-finals.
As their clash tentatively edged its way towards a decider, Hong Kong finally clinched the crucial frame that sent them through.
China B, meanwhile, will face off against a young Belgian partnership of Luca Brecel and Ben Mertens that have gone five games unbeaten so far.
Indeed, it’s the third time in a row that Belgium has topped its group in a World Cup but they have never reached the semi-finals and, funnily enough, lost to China B at this same stage in 2017.
Four other heavyweights make up the other two ties in the World Cup quarter-finals.
There are 59 ranking titles shared between the Scottish and Welsh teams that are set to do battle at the Wuxi City Sports Park Stadium.
Mark Williams and Ryan Day went undefeated in Group D, amassing an impressive 21 points out of a possible 25 in total, but it’s Scotland’s Higgins and Maguire who know what it takes to reach a final having gone that far four years ago.
The remaining contest has England’s Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski in action against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Noppon Saengkham from Thailand.
The knockout phase follows a best of seven frames format with two singles, a doubles encounter, and two reverse singles played.
If required, a second doubles match followed by a final singles decider would determine the outcome.