South Africa v England, 5th Test, Durban, 1938-39, 8th day March 11, 1939

Rain gives weary players welcome respite

Cricinfo staff

England 316 and 253 for 1 (Gibb 78*, Edrich 107*)need another 443 runs to beat South Africa 530 and 481

To the relief of the exhausted player son both sides, the scheduled eighth day of this match, the second Saturday, was washed out after heavy overnight rain died out only to give way to persistent drizzle in the afternoon.

On the evidence so far, the uncovered track improves after a soaking, and if Sunday is not too wet, the pitch should roll into a shirtfront that will favour England when they resume.

The groundstaff used the heavy roller in the lull before lunch. The pitch rolled flat and cracks that were visible on the Friday night were smoothed out.

However, rain returned at 2.30pm and after a brief inspection both captains agreed to call play off for the day.

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