Thomas moves two clear at CIMB Classic

Updated: 

Justin Thomas remains firmly on track to defend his title at the CIMB Classic after opening up a two-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the tournament.

Thomas claimed his maiden PGA Tour crown at last year's event in Malaysia and is once again prospering in Kuala Lumpur.

The American followed up an opening-round 64 with a 66 on Friday - when a six-foot python was spotted on the course before round two started - to reach 14 under.

Anirban Lahiri of India sits second, courtesy of successive 66s, while Russell Knox carded the lowest score of the week so far, a nine-under 63, to move into a share of third at 11 under with Hideki Matsuyama (64) and James Hahn (64).

"I didn't play as well as I did yesterday [Thursday] ... but bogey-free is always good," said Thomas.

"I'm not crazy satisfied. I'm obviously happy with the round and would have taken it before the day started, but I definitely left some shots out there."

Lahiri - also a former winner in Kuala Lumpur at last year's Maybank Malaysian Open - added: "It's important for me to work myself back into form [following a shoulder injury]. And the best way to do that is to go and play courses that you're comfortable on where you've done well before.

"The last three weeks have all been courses where I've won, so when you go back to a course where you won, you already feel positive to start, and I think that's what I needed."