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March 22 2018, 05:49 | Irvin Gilbert
Wood claimed a one-shot win in 2013
Pepperell, starting at the 10th, was four under through his opening nine holes having seen five gains undone slightly by one bogey, and he picked up a further three shots on the way home.
The former Ryder Cup star posted six birdies in calm conditions at Doha GC to join the group of four players on 10 under, one back from clubhouse leader Adrian Otaegui.
Otaegui produced a blistering finish, birdieing the last three holes to add a second round 66 to his opening 67 and finish 11 under par, a shot ahead of Scot Gallacher, England's Eddie Pepperell, Frenchman Gregory Havret and South African Erik van Rooyen.
Rai's seven-under round equalled the lowest total he has ever shot on the European Tour. He quickly recovered with back-to-back birdies on 16th and 17th. He made three more birdies on his back nine.
Havret also enjoyed a bogey-free round, a run of five birdies in a six-hole stretch between the eighth and 13th bumping him up the leaderboard.
"I surprised myself, really", said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands a year ago.
'I've made some changes this week with personnel so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it, he said.
"That's the area I feel like I've been struggling with again a bit lately but the whole game felt good".
'I'm looking forward to the weekend but even more so moving forward to the rest of the season. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.
In Doha, he started his second round with a birdie and ended it with three of them, and had seven birdies and one bogey in all.
"I hit every green apart from the last one". Englishman Rai, a three-time victor on the Challenge Tour last season, birdied the first, sixth, ninth, 12th and 16th before he made an eagle on the par five last. "It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start".