Swarm of bees forces every player and umpire to lie flat during South Africa v Sri Lanka


Thirty days after it began, the 2019 World Cup has finally reached the north-east of England.

South Africa and Sri Lanka today played their seventh match of the competition in Durham - the venue for the first of three fixtures in the region.

Ottis Gibson’s side were eliminated after a heavy defeat to Pakistan at Lord’s on the weekend, leaving them with nothing but pride to play for until their flight home.

In contrast, Sri Lanka could sneak into the top four if they defeat each of their three remaining opponents: South Africa, West Indies and India.

Separate from the context of the tournament, fans had plenty to look forward in on a beautiful day at the Riverside Ground.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first - a decision which immediately paid dividends as Kagiso Rabada claimed the wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne with the opening delivery.

The remainder of the innings was a rather dull affair until a swarm of bees invaded the pitch, forcing every player and umpire to lie flat on the ground.

Fortunately, for whatever reason, the intruders didn’t seem interested in the spectators in Chester-le-Street.

If you don’t believe us, take a look at the video below.

Play resumed after a couple of minutes, but the scenes won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

While it might look funny, there’s a good reason those at risk chose to hit the deck.

Lying down is considered the best course of action when caught in a swarm because bees tend to pay less attention to prone objects.

On the other hand, attempting to swat the insects away is sure to trigger an aggressive response, according to experts (and probably anyone else who’s tried it).

Remarkably, South Africa, Sri Lanka and bees have history between them.

A match between the same two nations was stopped when a swarm descended on Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium in 2017.

Earlier this year in January, an England Lion’s game versus India was suspended for 15 minutes after five people were hospitalised with bee-related injuries.

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