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Play was halted during South Africa

How-zzzz-at! Swarm of BEES stop play in the Cricket World Cup as South Africa and Sri Lanka players are forced to hit the deck to avoid being stung

  • South Africa’s World Cup clash with Sri Lanka was halted due to a swarm of bees
  • The bees invaded the field at Chester-le-Street during Sri Lanka’s innings
  • Players from both teams and the umpires were forced to lie on the grass
  • A fire extinguisher was used to clear the bees before play was resumed 
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A swarm of bees brought play to a temporary halt during South Africa and Sri Lanka’s World Cup clash in Durham.

Both sets of players and the umpires were forced to lie on the ground as hundreds of bees invaded Chester-le-Street and made for the batsman’s crease.

Spectators watched on bemused at the sight as the swarm was uninterested in the stands, instead preferring to be involved in the action. 

Play was halted during South Africa's clash with Sri Lanka due to bees invading the field

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Play was halted during South Africa’s clash with Sri Lanka due to bees invading the field

Both sets of players and the umpires were forced to lie on the ground as the bees descended

Both sets of players and the umpires were forced to lie on the ground as the bees descended

Both sets of players and the umpires were forced to lie on the ground as the bees descended

‘Not one spectator was stretched or bothered, and yet all the players were on the ground,’ former England coach Paul Farbrace told BBC Test Match Special.

‘There must have been some people wondering what on earth was going on. If you’re new to that game you’d go home going ‘not only do they stop for a drink but halfway through the game they all lay down! Stressful game, cricket!’ 

The bizarre intervention took place while South Africa were seeing off the tail end of Sri Lanka’s innings, who had posted 194-8.

The bees were eventually cleared with the help of the Durham groundsmen and a fire extinguisher.

Spectators watched on bemused as the bees made a 'beeline' for the batsmen's crease
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Spectators watched on bemused as the bees made a 'beeline' for the batsmen's crease

Spectators watched on bemused as the bees made a ‘beeline’ for the batsmen’s crease

Sri Lanka had nearly finished their innings but the extra rest did not help the tailenders

Sri Lanka had nearly finished their innings but the extra rest did not help the tailenders

Sri Lanka had nearly finished their innings but the extra rest did not help the tailenders

The extra rest offered no further help for the batsman however, who were bowled out for 203. 

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Remarkably, this is not the first time bees have halted a match between these two sides. 

In 2017, a Sri Lanka-South Africa clash had to be halted temporarily due to another swarming at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.