Thailand's rookie star-in-the-making Chapchai Nirat and India's Digvijay Singh battled into a share of the halfway lead at the US$200,000 Crowne Plaza Open yesterday. The 22-year-old Chapchai fired a sparkling six-under-par 66, which included six birdies and one eagle at Grand Epoch City Golf Club where his two-day total of four-under-par 140 was matched by Singh. The Indian returned early yesterday to complete four holes of his suspended first round and signed for a 68. After a quick break, he went out to shoot a second-round 72 to earn a shot at a first Asian Tour title. Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand was lurking a stroke back after enduring a rollercoaster day with five birdies against as many bogeys for a 72. Australian Marcus Both was tied with Thaworn after a 69. Chapchai has made headlines this month, first earning a share of the first-round lead at the Singapore Open, dubbed 'Asia's major' owing to its US$2 million purse, and finishing 11th. He went on to post a runner-up outing behind Thaworn at the Taiwan Open two weeks ago to underline his growing potential. After struggling with a 74 on Thursday, the burly Chapchai wielded a new driver this morning and reaped immediate rewards with a solid driving display that allowed him to attack the pins. His six birdies were all from close range while his day's highlight was a sensational chip-in eagle on the par-five third hole. 'I've been playing a lot of golf of late and this is actually my 13th week playing in tournaments, on both the Asian Tour and several domestic circuits. I guess I've gained a lot of experience and confidence over the weeks. 'I would like to win a big title but as this is my first full year on the Asian Tour, it may seem like an ambitious goal. If I do win this year, it'll be great. But my main aim is simply to play my best every time I tee up,' said Chapchai. Singh has featured in Asia for many years and is searching for a career breakthrough. However, the Indian, who is the brother-in-law of former Asian number one Jyoti Randhawa, is not getting ahead of himself. 'I played the remaining four holes nicely this morning and then started my second round well with two birdies on the second and third holes. My bogeys on nine and 10 were results of missing the greens due miscalculation and over-aggression. 'I'm playing quite nicely, so we'll see what happens. I'm not going to think about a first win as there is no point in getting ahead of myself. I'm just going out to enjoy the round,' said Singh, who completed the first round as the leader. As on day one, Thaworn, chasing his third win of the year after triumphs in Taipei and Jakarta, had a stuttering start with three bogeys in his opening four holes before salvaging an even par effort on what is proving to be a challenging Grand Epoch City layout. Two other Thais, Prayad Marksaeng and upcoming star Prom Meesawat, were on 142, two strokes off the pace alongside Ecuador's Rafael Ponce. China's best-placed golfer was Liang Wenchong, who carded a second-round 71 for tied-17th place on 145 while Australian Glenn Joyner produced the tournament's first hole-in-one with an eight-iron at the par-three eighth hole. The halfway cut was set at seven-over-par 151, with 70 players qualifying for the weekend.