Paul, who’d set the pace with an impressive 65 at DLF Golf and Country Club on Thursday, added an equally-solid 69 to move to ten-under-par, having dropped just two shots in the opening 36 holes on a notoriously-difficult golf course.
“I probably played almost better today than yesterday,” said the 28-year-old, who landed his maiden DP World Tour win in the Mallorca Golf Open last season.
“I felt the pins were in tougher spots today, so you had a lot of downhill putts where you think you have a good look but it’s actually two or three cups’ break.”
Paul is being chased by a group that includes compatriot Marcel Siem and home player Angad Cheema, as well as Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and Icelander Gudmundur Kristjansson.
“I think the key part is just staying patient,” said the leader. “You have quite a few wedges but the pins are so tucked and the course, in general, is so firm, so you feel like you’ve got to make some birdies but par is fine, too.
“I think the course suits my game. You have to have a good strategy and then, if you hit quality irons, then you get a lot of chances. That’s what I did in the first two days.”
Walker was one of the last players to get into the field, having decided to grab this opportunity on the main tour in a season when he’ll be focusing mainly on the Challenge Tour.
The Ayrshireman opened with a 76 that included a double-bogey 7 at the 18th, his ninth hole, but it was job done as far as making the weekend was concerned as he then added a 70. That lifted him into the top 40 on two-over, two ahead of MacIntyre after the Oban man signed for a second successive 74.
“I’m actually playing alright, but it’s the same story as the last five weeks,” said MacIntyre of his opening two rounds. “Tee to green, it’s pretty solid. I hit one bad tee shot today.
"But I am holing absolutely no putts, which is a bit frustrating. I holed one from a good range on the ninth but anything from seven feet to 20 feet, zero putts are going in.”
In his first DP World Tour event as a pro, Sandy Scott agonisingly missed the cut by a shot on five-over after dropping a shot at his final hole for a 75, having earlier run up a 7 to finish his opening nine.
Stephen Gallacher, who was defending the title he won in 2019, also made an early exit on six-over despite a battling 73 in his second circuit.
Elsewhere, Gemma Dryburgh followed her opening 68 with a 70 to sit in a tie for 27th on six-under in the Honda LPGA Thailand event. Being held at Siam Country Club, home player Natthakritta Vongtaveelap (67-65) leads by a shot from Swede Maja Stark.
On the Challenge Tour, Craig Howie sits joint-sixth, just six shots off the lead, after 36 holes in the Nelson Mandela Bay Championship in Port Elizabeth, where Liam Johnston, Doug McGuigan and Michael Stewart are also through to the weekend.