Favourites England were given a nasty shock by old rivals Australia before recovering in the Manulife Funds Direct International Classic Pairs yesterday. The English duo of Andrew Wills and Stuart Airey, who are defending their title at the Kowloon Bowling Green Club this weekend, went down 23-16 against Australia's pair of Adam Jeffery and Rex Johnson. The setback was only temporary, however, as Airey and Wills recovered to edge the Kowloon Cricket Club's Patrick Fong and C. C. Chen. Jeffery and Johnson were unable to repeat their eighth-round heroics against Wales' Jason Greenslade and Robert Price, and were well-beaten 28-7. Hong Kong's representatives in the prestigious US$75,000 event, Noel Kennedy and Anthony Carstairs, bagged two wins early on to book their place in the quarter-finals. Carstairs and Kennedy defeated Malaysia's Sazeli Sani and Syed Mohammed Akil 28-9 before a tighter 21-14 victory against the Hong Kong Cricket Club's Bob Barnett and Andrew Robertson.