The 3rd One Day International between Sri Lanka and South Africa came to a halt as a swarm of bees invaded the outfield, nesting in wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock’s helmet at the Wanderers on Saturday the 4th of February 2017.
The bees flew back and forth interrupting play before the umpires decided to escort the fielders back to the dugout. A couple of minutes later, the players returned to the outfield assuming the insects found their way out of the park. However, the bees were very much in control as they continued to disconcert the fifteen individuals on the field.
The players were forced to leave again as the all-important match was halted for at least thirty minutes before local beekeeper Pierre Hefer was entreated to frighten the creatures away.
Peter was quietly observing the situation from his residence, 20 minutes away from the Wanderers in Emmarentia. He was relishing the game as the home side was well ahead when the umpires decided to halt play. The Sri Lankans were under tremendous pressure, losing four quick wickets after an exciting start. After being put on to bat, the visitors were 4 down for 117 in just the 26th over.
“When they took out the fire extinguisher, I knew I had to get down here. You see, you might get rid of them for a bit, but they’ll come back, I thought they might be able to use my expertise. I think they saw me in this outfit, noticed all the equipment and reckoned I must be what I say I am, and with play stopped, they let me in,” said Peter who hurried to the Wanderers to save the game.
Without a ticket or any form of accreditation, Peter was allowed to enter the packed stadium, moving swiftly through security guards and officials.
“It’s actually the quickest I’ve ever gotten from the top of Corlett Drive (the road which runs past the ground at the southern end) to the stadium before. It was harder to get through the crowds who were outside because there was no play,” added Peter.
Before Peter’s arrival, the officials attempted to use the fire extinguisher to expel the swarm of bees but their efforts only worked for a couple of minutes. The bees were in no hurry to leave.
“When I was watching on TV, and they had surrounded that helmet (that of SA wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock), I thought it might be as much as 5000 bees. But when I got here, it looked more like 1000 to 2000. It would have been quieter on Wednesday, but then today you’ve got a game going on, all these people here and obviously they’re not welcome. They can be quite stubborn too,” concluded the Peter.
Peter emphasized an unusual disturbance in a bee hive which would have prompted the bees to flee from their initial shelter. Thanks to him, play resumed and South Africa cruised through to an emphatic win to take the series three-nil. The bee-interruption failed to help the visitors who were struck and defeated by seven wickets.
Nevertheless, Peter experienced the time of his career, saving the game and enjoying 15 minutes of dramatic fame.
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