Cabrera blazed his way from a tie for 24th place into the lead with nine birdies at the $4 million Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club.
Play at the remodeled 6,710-yard, par-71 Serapong Course was suspended for about an hour in the afternoon due to lightning, and ended with 37 players yet to finish. Second-round play was to resume Saturday morning.
Jin Park of the United States was two strokes behind Cabrera after carding two birdies and a bogey to finish with a 1-under 70. Defending champion Adam Scott of Australia was in third place at 5 under after a round of 67 that included five birdies and a bogey.
Briton Lee Westwood had four birdies in a bogey-free round of 67 to tie for fourth with Australia's Gavin Flint (72) at 4-under 138 two-day total. Flint shared the lead after the first round with compatriot Kane Webber and Park. Webber shot a 5-over 76 on Friday to be even par after two rounds.
Japan's Tetsuji Hiratsuka (71), Anthony Kang (70) of the United States and South Korea's Mo Joong-kyung (68) were at 3 under.
Phil Mickelson struggled with four bogeys and three birdies in a round of 72 that left him in a tie for ninth at 2 under, along with Mark Brown of New Zealand, Angelo Que of the Philippines, Fiji's Vijay Singh and K.J. Choi of South Korea.
Els carded eight bogeys and three birdies to finish at with a two-round total of 6-over 148. Els chose to play this event rather than the season-ending Volvo Masters in Spain, jeopardizing his chances of topping the European Tour Order of Merit.
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