Jeev Milkha Singh comfortably made the cut while Gaganjeet Bhullar had to dig deep with three birdies in last four holes to join him for the weekend rounds at the European Tour event Volvo China Open.
Jeev and Bhullar shot 69 each as the former moved to tied 23rd at three-under 141, while the latter was at one-under 143 in tied 47th. However, the third Indian, SSP Chowrasia lapsed into errors with four-over 76 and crashed out missing the cut by two shots.
Mikko Ilonen equalled his own lowest round on The European Tour and the course record at Binhai Lake Golf Club with a stunning 63 to establish a three shot lead at the halfway stage.
Jeev had five birdies and two bogeys in his round, while Bhullar had as many as seven birdies but he also dropped four bogeys in a roller-coaster of a round. Chowrasia had four bogeys, two of them on 16th and 17th, and no birdies.
Six years on from his two European Tour victories, the Finn notched nine birdies to move to 12 under par, three shots clear of the chasing pack, led by last week's winner Brett Rumford (67) of Australia and his fellow European Tour champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67) of Thailand.
Overnight leader Robert-Jan Derksen was unable to repeat his opening round heroics, but at eight under par, the Dutchman is still very much in the hunt.
Further down the leaderboard, Dou Ze-cheng became the youngest player to make the cut in the history of the Volvo China Open as a level par round of 72 enabled the 16-year-old to secure a safe passage through to the weekend two under par.
Another of China's young guns, Ye Wo-cheng, signed off with a second consecutive 79 as the 12-year-old - the youngest player to feature on The European Tour - missed the cut on 14 over par.