THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD (GB & Ireland unless stated):
-12 I Poulter -10 R Fisher, T Jaidee (Thai), F Molinari (Ita) -9 R Karlsson (Swe), L Westwood Selected others: -8 P Casey -7 R McIlroy -6 M Kaymer (Ger), L Donald -2 G McDowell -1 D Clarke
Poulter carded a third round in the 60s to top the leaderboard
Ian Poulter will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Dubai World Championship as he aims to record back-to-back victories on the European Tour.
The Englishman, who won the Hong Kong Open last week, carded a three-under-par 69 to move to 12 under.
Joint overnight leader Ross Fisher (71) shares second with Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Francesco Molinari of Italy.
Graeme McDowell (69) is 10 shots back and conceded defeat to Martin Kaymer in the battle to be Europe's number one.
The Ulsterman, who needs a top three finish at the 'Earth' course in Dubai to stand any chance of overtaking Germany's Kaymer, finished the day well adrift of the leading pack despite moving to two under par after shooting his lowest round of the tournament.
"Barring the impossible Europe's number one is not a reality for me any more," he said.
"Martin is definitely going to do it unless I shoot 55, which unless one of you boys [a handful of reporters] putts for me isn't going to happen."
Kaymer went into the tournament harbouring hopes of usurping Lee Westwood as world number one and he briefly shared the lead with Poulter after starting the back nine with a hat-trick of birdies.
However, he gave two shots back on the 14th and 15th and double bogeyed the par five 18th after finding the water to finish six shots behind Poulter.
"I kicked myself out of it I think," he said.
"I will play as aggressively as possible and I can't lose now. It looks like I have won the Race to Dubai [money list], which was my goal.
"But it would be more satisfying if I shoot a low round - between 66 and 63, which I think is possible."
Birdies on the second and third saw Poulter move into the lead on his own but the first blemish on his card came at the par four fifth after 40 holes without dropping a shot.
He recouped one shot on the eighth, but gave that back on the 10th before birdies on 14 and 15 ensured he takes a two-shot lead into the final round.
"My game is as good as it's been and I am in the driving seat," said Poulter.
"The pins were tucked and it was a game of patience, but the two silly bogeys came on holes I feel I should have taken advantage of."
Rory McIlroy was the big mover in the third round, jumping into the top 10 with a six-under-par 66, which included a run of five consecutive birdies from the seventh.
Westwood produced a solid one-under-par round to stay in contention at nine under par overall while fellow Englishman Paul Casey is a further shot back.