A swarm of locusts descended suddenly on the Champions Trophy semi-final between Australia and England at Centurion, delaying what had shaped up as an interesting game half way through in a day filled with all manner of insect infestations.
The locust swarm, filled with long-winged insects attracted by the artificial nights in the day/night 50-over game, delayed the restart of play after the break between innings. Australian batsmen, English fieldsmen and umpires were all batting away the insects as they walked off.
The swarm followed an incident earlier in the day where a swarm of bees had taken over a television camera, requiring a bee specialist in full white beekeeper gear to blow smoke over them to encourage them to move on. That wasn’t the first time bees have been seen in international fixtures this year, with a match in Sharjah between Australia and Pakistan having to be delayed while a swarm of bees flew over the ground.
England had recovered to be all out in its innings for 257 from 47.4 overs after falling to six wickets from 101 in the 21st over, engineered by Luke Wright and Tim Bresnan in a 107-run seventh-wicket partnership. The wickets were shared fairly evenly among the Australians, with keeper Tim Paine being the start in the field with five catches and being involved in two run outs.