Jonny Marray and Colin Fleming handed Great Britain a lifeline in their Davis Cup Group I tie with Russia after overwhelming Ignor Kunitsyn and Victor Baluda in straight sets in Coventry.

After five set defeats for Dan Evans and James Ward on Friday, Britain knew they had to win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for next years' Davis Cup World Group.

And the British pair, ranked 16 and 28 in the doubles world rankings respectively, lived up to their billing with a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory in 89 minutes to set up an intriguing final day on Sunday.

Jonny Marray

Despite victories for Dmitry Tursunov and Evgeny Donskoy is two gruelling five set matches against Evans and Ward, Russia maintained their original nominations for the doubled rubber with Kunitsyn partnering Davis Cup rookie Baluda.

In stark contrast to the singles matches, Britain were heavy favourite to get their first point on board in the form of Wimbledon doubles champion Marray and Fleming.

Fleming's regular partner Ross Hutchins, who continues to undergo chemotherapy after being diagnose with Hodgkin's Lymphoma last year, had offered the team tactical advice ahead of the tie but the pedigree of the British pair in the third rubber suggested the home team were big favourites to reduce the arrears without alarm.

And that was what exactly what transpired as Britain soared into an early lead, breaking for a 3-1 lead as Marray's inch perfect volley trapped Kunitsyn.

The world no.167 ranked singles player had trouble on his next service game as Britain created two more break point chances as Baluda showed his inexperience, netting from a close volley before a Marray forehand secured the double-break.

And it was the All-England Club doubles champion who provided the killer instinct to helped secure the first set as he had Kunitsyn in trouble with a deep volley.

The second set began in similar fashion to the first as Britain secured another early break, following a missed chance in the opening game, Kunitsyn allowed a Marray backhand return to drop in as the hosts broke to love.

Fleming and Marray, who had teamed up five times already in 2013, were finding their service game easy to come by, with break point chances for their Russian opponents coming at a premium.

Both Fleming and Kunitsyn held in consecutive games and after Baluda held to love, Marray completed the second set, despite falling 0-15 and 15-30 behind, finishing with a timely overhead volley to all but settle the contest.

The British duo were a double-break up in the third set in double quick time as Kunitsyn again failed to justify his singles ranking with a string of forehand errors.

The visitors did get on the board but it worked as only light relief as Fleming served out the match to set up a final day in which GB need both Ward and Evans to produce similar heroics to prevent another year away from the Davis Cup top table.