Ireland's Barbados World Cup hopes suffered a potential killer blow at windswept Sandy Lane.

Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley slumped to two over par 73 in the foursomes to trail leaders Argentina by nine shots on two under par at halfway.

The Dublin duo admitted after their four under par 67 in the fourballs that they had let a few shots get away on the greens.

But Harrington's hope that the putts would drop for them in the foursomes failed to become a reality as the slumped to 12th place alongside Australia, Wales and Denmark.

Instead, playing partners Scotland made up all the ground as Colin Montgomerie and Marc Warren hit a four under par 67 to share second place with Sweden and Germany on eight under par.

Leaders Argentina are bidding to lift the World Cup for the first time since Antonio Cerda and Roberto De Vicenzo took the old Canada Cup in the inaugural event in Canada in 1953.

And they are looking good with big-hitting Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero firing four birdies in an immaculate 67 to take a three shot lead.

Warren holed all six of Scotland's birdie putts as they moved up to second, but he paid tribute to eight-time European No 1 Montgomerie for his consistency.

Warren said: "He is a great player. He is so solid tee to green and holing out you feel you are one or two shots up before you start. You are so confident in your partner and that gives you confidence as well.

"As soon as I knew Monty was going to play in the event it's been something I've been looking forward to. No-one is running away with it and we are not too far away with two rounds to go."

But it was a different story for Harrington and McGinley, who just couldn't get the ball in the hole on the tricky bermuda greens.

Bogeys at the par-three fourth and par-five sixth left the Irish a long way behind the pace-setters on the idyllic Caribbean island

And while they picked up shots at the seventh and 10th, they undid all their hard work with bogeys at the ninth and 11th.

A birdie at the par five 15th gave them a glimmer of hope and put them just one over for the day.

But despite a great tee shot by McGInley to just 15 feet at the short 16th, Harrington's birdie putt never threatened the hole.

McGinley failed to repeat his trick at the 195-yard 18th and a missed green there cost the Irish pair another shot and left them with a mountain to climb to repeat their 1997 World Cup success.

It looked like it would be equally disappointing day for pre-tournament favourites England as David Howell and Luke Donald crashed to three over par for the day with six to play.

The English pair were going nicely after a birdie at the third but the pair dropped shots at the fifth and 11th before running up a double bogey six at the 453-yard 13th.

However, they bounced back in style by reeling off four birdies on the spin from the 14th to card a one under par 70 and trail Argentina by five shots on six under.

Defending champions Wales started and finished terribly to card a three over par 74.

Tied for fourth overnight, Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge started the day with bogey at the first and a double bogey six at the second.

And while they got back to one over for the day with two to play, a triple bogey seven at the tough 17th looks to have wrecked their chances of a successful defence.

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez Castano and Miguel Angel Jimenez made the move of the day as they fired a five under par 66 to move from 16th to fifth with South Africa on seven under par.