Watch: Bees stop play during third ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka
What's the story?
In an unusual turn of events, the third ODI between South Africa and Sri Lanka has been suspended due to a swarm of bees. After a couple of interruptions in the previous two overs, the bees finally won as the swarm successfully managed to get the players off the field with Sri Lanka on 117/4 in 26.3 overs.
South Africa won the toss, elected to field and were on top before the swarm of bees had players drop to the floor and have the groundstaff use sticks, fire extinguisher and eventually a beekeeper to help remove the bees from the stadium.
Eventually, though it was the players who had the last laugh as they returned to continue the game without an over being lost despite over an hour's play being lost to the bees.
In case you didn’t know...
South Africa are leading the five-match ODI series 2-0 and were looking to seal the series with a win on Faf du Plessis' 100th ODI match. The score was 117/4 before bees stopped play at the Wanderers for over an hour.
The Heart of the matter
It all started after Dhananjaya de Silva got out off the penultimate ball of the 25th over. A swarm of bees invaded the Wanderers as the players immediately dropped to the floor. Although it was cleared and the action resumed, just a few balls later the bees were at it again.
Three balls into the 27th over, the unrelenting bees finally got their wish as they eventually made the players leave the pitch. But that was not before Quinton de Kock swatted some away with his glove after they found a home in his helmet.
Wanderers’ head groundsman then came out with a stick in hand, which didn’t work out but the fire extinguisher that was brought next looked to have done the trick. One of the ground staff used it to scare the bees away and even got a high-five from Chris Morris.
A beekeeper came out to the ground before too long and was seen assisting the groundsmen in their efforts to get the bees away from the ground and that did the trick as play resumed not too long after.
Parallels from history
This is far from the first time that this has happened during a cricket match. Just last year, New Zealand’s tour match against Zimbabwe A in Harare was interrupted on day two as a swarm of bees left the Kiwis on the floor.
This wasn't even the first time it has happened in an international match as the India-Pakistan ODI in Vishakhapatnam in 2005 and the Sri Lanka-England Test in Kandy in 2007/08 was also stopped by a swarm of bees. As was the India-Australia Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2008.
What happened during the third ODI is not something that happens every day. Although there have been a few instances of it happening, it does not make it any less surprising or amusing.
Play delayed due to rain.— Devin (@De_Vindula) February 4, 2017
Play delayed due to bad light.
Play delayed due to sandstorm.
Play delayed due to bees.