Miguel Angel Jiménez sank an eagle putt on the seventh to help Spain maintain their place at the top of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup midway through third round fourballs.
The 44 year old had combined with 2008 Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Pablo Larrazabal for a superb 63 in tricky foursomes in the second round to open up a four stroke lead.
However, Spain made a slow start to the third round, making par on the first three holes and allowing second placed Australia to cut the deficit to three.
But Jiménez picked up a birdie on the par four fourth before The Ryder Cup player chipped in from off the green for an eagle on the seventh and then Larrazabal birdied the ninth to move Spain on to 21 under overall at the turn.
Australia, meanwhile, were hot on Spain's heels having climbed from 13 to 18 under with Richard Green and Brendan Jones hitting two and three birdies respectively through nine.
Germany were a shot further behind at 17 under with Martin Kaymer enjoying a fine run of form heading out, carding four birdies through nine.
Pre-tournament favourites Sweden ensured they remained amongst the pacesetters as Henrik Stenson picked up three birdies before team-mate Robert Karlsson added another on the par five ninth to ensure they reached the turn at four under for the day and 15 under overall.
Ireland's Paul McGinley and Graeme McDowell were still in the hunt but will need to pick up birdies coming home to give themselves a chance ahead of the final round foursomes.
McGinley shot a birdie on the par five third before McDowell added another on the sixth as they reached the turn two under for the day and were 12 under for the tournament.
England's Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher produced their best performance of the tournament so far but it has undoubtedly come too late for them to mount a serious challenge for the World Cup trophy.
Having struggled to a two over 74 in second round foursomes, England came out strong and shot an impressive 10 birdies through 16 holes, including six successive from the second.
Fisher was in particularly sparkling form as the 28 year old contributed to that run of form with seven birdies.