McCabe's second great innings took place at Johannesburg in 1935. South Africa had scored 157 in their first innings. Australia replied with 250. In their second innings the home side, largely propped up by AD Nourse Jr's 231, were able to register 491. Australia now required 399 to win the match.
While dark, black clouds loomed above, McCabe forced the pace. His half-century in 40 minutes was a Sunday afternoon exhibition of orthodox aggression. Forty of those runs had come in boundaries.
Australia's score had proceeded to 85 when McCabe walked down the pitch to confer with his partner Fingleton. "I can hardly see the ball," he said. The appeal against light granted, the two Australians walked off. The score was 85 for 1 with McCabe on 59. An entire day of unfinished business stretched before them.
The instructions for the fifth day from Australian captain Vic Richardson were precise---"to hold tight and leave it to McCabe."
The Australian hundred, meanwhile, rolled up in 85 minutes. McCabe raced to his own century in 90 minutes. Fingleton's leg bail flew after 177 had been added for the second wicket. McCabe's share was 148. At lunch, Australia docked at 217 for 2. A win was a distinct possibility and McCabe seemed doing it alone. ; he had scored a century before lunch and was now 159.
With the Australians in complete command and unwilling to yield in the face of decreasing visibility, there appeared to be only one escape for the desperate fielding captain Herbie Wade. He appealed against the light! The nod in approval by the umpires at this unique complaint was not disputed; the first drops converted to a frightening thunderstorm immediately after. Within 15 minutes the pitch had been submerged.
(To be continued)