The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 game between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street on Friday came to halt for few minutes for an unexpected reason. It was in the 48th over of the game when a swarm of bees invaded the ground at Chester-le-Street to halt proceedings, causing the players from both sides and the on-field umpires to lie down flat on their stomach in the middle of the match to avoid getting stung.
South Africa were tightening the screws around Sri Lanka with timely strikes and were on the brink of wrapping things up with the ball. Dwaine Pretorious and Chris Morris did extremely well to pick wickets at regular intervals to push Sri Lanka on the back foot after a decent start. It was just as the Sri Lankan innings was about to come to an end when the trouble makers made their way onto the square, forcing the players and umpires to take cover and hit the deck.
It happened when Suranga Lakmal was on strike, facing the final delivery of the over from Morris. It first appeared that Morris was just doing his rituals when he was shown doing some warm-up exercises while lying on the ground. However, as the camera rolled on to the other parts of the field, all the members were seen inclined to the ground. The players were lying on the ground to avoid being stung while the crowd couldn’t hold their laughter back after watching the scenario.
Watch the video here:
Interestingly, this is not the first such instance of play being halted due to the presence of bees in the 22-yard circle between both sides. Back in 2017, the two teams were found themselves in a similar situation when bees interrupted play, once again during Sri Lanka’s innings leaving players on the ground for some time. It happened during the ‘Pink ODI’ wherein the African nation emerged on top of the Islanders by 7 wickets at Johannesburg on February 4.