Fans attending the 2019 ICC World Cup group match between Sri Lanka and South Africa at Chester-le-Street on Friday were given some comic relief in the 48th over of the Sri Lankan innings when the players and umpires had to lie down on the ground after a swarm of bees passed over the stadium.
Chris Morris was bowling his ninth over and Suranga Lakmal was on strike when the bees descended upon the ground after the fifth ball was bowled. The players and the umpires immediately took evasive action and lay flat on their stomachs on the ground, drawing laughter from the crowd.
A similar incident happened in 2017 in an ODI between these two teams at the Wanderers in South Africa. However, while the delay was only of a few minutes on Friday, the insects had caused a halt of more than an hour at the Wanderers.
Meanwhile, South Africa coasted to a nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.
Chasing a target of 204, Hashim Amla and captain Faf du Plessis put up an unbeaten second wicket stand of 175 runs to secure the win. This was South Africa's second win of the tournament.
The lone South African wicket of Quinton de Kock was taken by Lasith Malinga in the fifth over. du Plessis and Amla then ensured that it was the last time Sri Lanka celebrated as they calmly took their side to victory. The pair hit 15 fours and a six in their unbeaten stand which was the best second wicket partnership of this World Cup.
du Plessis hit the winning runs with a four off Thisara Perera in the 38th over. He ended the innings unbeaten on 96 off 103 balls (4x10, 6x1) while Hashim Amla remained not out on 80 off 105 deliveries (4x5).
Earlier, du Plessis had won the toss at Chester-le-Street and decided to bowl first. The South African pacers never let the Sri Lankan batsmen settle with Dwaine Pretorius and Kagiso Rabada taking out the top order within the first 12 overs. Playing his first match of the tournament, Pretorius won the Man of the Match for his figures of 3/25 in 10 overs.