The duo reside at 13-under-par 203 through three rounds of play at the Doha Golf Club, one stroke ahead of Tony Johnstone (66) and Dean Robertson (68), and three in front of Olivier Edmond (71).
While Karlsson (70) is searching for his fourth career victory on the European Tour, Cabrera is still looking for his first. He has come close to winning in recent times, finishing second or third on four occasions in the past two years. His most recent heartbreak came at the 2000 Smurfit European Open, when, after leading through three rounds, a final-day score of 66 from Lee Westwood just edged him out by a stroke.
This Sunday, Cabrera will get his chance again.
'Maybe I can be the one to shoot the low score,' he joked of his luck. 'I've been close twice before, but when people shoot such low scores against you it's difficult. I will play my own game and not worry about anyone else.'
'I am a better golfer now,' he went on to say. 'I have not been too disappointed at not winning so far. It's not a problem. I know I will have a lot of chances - it's coming.'
After his performance Saturday of 67 through the heavy `Shamal' winds that blanketed the area, that time may be coming sooner than later.
It will certainly come as later should Karlsson have anything to say about it, however.
The tall Swede, who had led outright each of the first two days, made a valliant charge back after losing his lead early in this third round.
Through his opening nine holes, Karlsson actually trailed by two shots, complements of early bogeys at Nos. 4 and 5, and a double at the 8th. Yet, he came back in fine form, closing in 5-under over his outward nine holes.
'I sort of lost my rhythm and panicked a little,' the 32-year-old admitted. 'When I came to the turn I thought there were still 27 holes left and I was only two shots behind the leader. I had a great back nine to get back into it.'
Likewise playing great golf on Saturday was Johnstone. His 66 was the day's best, and at 44 years of age, he seems to have found a rekindling towards the game.
The rebirth appears to be stemming from his putting stroke.
Saturday, Johnstone required just 21 putts in his round, and it follows up a strong showing with the flatstick from last week's Dubai Desert Classic, during which he shot a 63 in the third round.
'I felt really great with my putting stroke and I putted fantastic all week,' he said of his performance. 'I've been through the mill for six years and have come through it, and immediately my sense of enjoyment for the game has changed. I am absolutely loving it.'
One last player who was also loving it last week was Thomas Bjorn. After beating out Tiger Woods on the final hole of the tournament in Dubai, the Dane seems to still be on his game this week in Qatar.
He shot 70 on Saturday, and at 6-under for the event, is on pace for another good showing leading up to the 2001 major championships.
Click here for Full-Field scores from the Qatar Masters!