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Wanderers scrambles to find Plan Bee

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'It was an annoying break' - de Villiers (1:11)

South Africa captain talks about the unprecedented break due to 'bee attack' on the field during the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg (1:11)

There are lions, leopards, elephants, cheetah and buffalo all within a few hours' drive from the Wanderers stadium, but it was a more mundane intrusion from the natural world that brought the third ODI to a standstill.

Bees swarmed the pitch in the middle of the 26th over, forcing players to momentarily hit the ground, then returned the next over, this time parking themselves very close to the pitch. One faction was even drawn by the Protea crest on Quinton de Kock's wicketkeeping helmet. Eventually, when it became clear the bees were not moving off, the players left the field and the ground staff set about trialling several bee-removal strategies.

At first they deployed a man with a stick. The groundsman approached one buzzing batch, decided his mode of attack would not work, and returned defeated. Fast bowler Chris Morris then seemed to come up with the idea of besieging the bees with a fire extinguisher. Two groundsmen carried this tactic out, but although it temporarily displaced the bees, they quickly amassed again and returned to their work near the pitch. A bucket filled with cola proved ineffective at capturing the insects as well.

Eventually a professional was summoned. One man lived out what must be the dreams of many aspiring beekeepers in South Africa, when he walked to the middle of a packed Wanderers stadium in his trademark baggy whites, nervelessly placed down his plastic box full of honeycomb, and masterfully opened up the lid. Before long he had ensnared his quarry, probably to wild cheers and fans offering to give him their numbers.

All up, the bees had spent about 65 minutes in the middle, which many noted, was more time than some Sri Lanka batsmen had managed.