Walter Hammond won the captaincy after changing his status to
amateur. For the first time since his debut tour, Hammond did not top the tour averages, but
was fourth. Nevertheless he scored over 1000 runs again, and recorded three
centuries in the Test series.
Bill Edrich took the place of Joe Hardstaff who was mistakenly
omitted despite two chances to add him to the side when Compton and then Fagg
withdrew. Edrich kept his place in the Test team despite scoring only 21 runs
in the series until, on his last opportunity in the "Timeless Test", he hit a
double century .
England went one-up in the series after making South Africa follow on at Durban. The final Test on the same ground
would be timeless and a record aggregate of runs was scored on a lifeless
pitch. England were set
696 runs to win and England
came within 42 runs of their target. Only rain during the tea interval on the
final day forced M.C.C. to abandon the match and hurry for their train to Cape Town and the ship
In future there would be no more timeless Tests. The 1938 Test
match at The Oval had been another powerful influence in bringing them to an
This was the last England Test tour to take place for seven
•In the first Test at Johannesburg Eddie
Paynter scored a century in each innings (117 and 100).
•Paul Gibb and Paynter shared a 2nd wicket
partnership of 184 in the first innings and 168 in the second.
•Tom Goddard took a hat-trick
• In the second Test at Cape Town Wally
Hammond (181) and Les Ames (115) added 197 for the 4th wicket
• Brian Valentine then scored 112 to take England to
559-9 declared, before Hedley Verity took 5 wickets for 70 runs
• Eddie Paynter’s 243 at Durban
was the highest score in this series, and he was in partnership of 242 with Hammond (120)
• Ken Farnes took 4-29 dismissing South Africa
for 103 and making them follow-on, leading to an innings’ defeat.
•Reg Perks took 5 for 100 on his debut in the final Test at Durban
•After a tour of failures Bill Edrich struck 219 as England
chased 696 to win. Hammond and Gibb also scored hundreds
654-5 at Durban
is the highest fourth innings in Tests and they were left only 42 runs short
•Hammond, Paynter and Hutton all scored more
than 1000 runs on the tour, and England scored 11 centuries in
Other first-class matches
Hugh Bartlett, Tom Goddard and Len Wilkinson, not
involved in the 'Timeless Test', began the journey home on the Athlone Castle
in advance of the rest of the team, sailing from Durban on 9 March.
They were not joined by the rest of the team until
the last moment when the Durban Test was abandoned. The Test XI caught a
train on the evening of Tuesday 14 March, pulling into Cape Town railway station on 17 March.
Walter Hammond flew from Durban to Cape Town.
The next day the tour party sailed from Cape Town, via Madeira
(27 March), arriving at Southampton Docks at 6 am on 31 March 1939.
Time away from England
October -31 March )
of the tour
"This is South
“M C C in South Africa”by Brian Bassano(published by J W McKenzie, 1997)
“Ken Farnes: Diary of an Essex Master”by David
Thurlow(Parrs Wood Press,2000)
(Thurlow had access to a diary kept by
Farnes on the tour)