Dimuth Karunaratne has been cleared to bat again after the fierce blow to the back of his head from a Pat Cummins short delivery which saw him stretchered off the field on the second day in Canberra and taken to hospital. Following assessments he was released on Saturday evening and then came through a concussion test before play resumed on Sunday, reports ESPN.
“Dimuth will be at the ground and SLC has cleared him to bat. They have said said there are no concussion issues,” an update on Sunday morning said.
The incident happened when, attempting to duck the bouncer in the fourth delivery of the 31st over, Karunaratne turned and tucked in his head. But the ball did not rise as high as he had expected, and struck him seemingly on the top of the shoulder, before hitting the area where his neck meets his skull.
Dimuth was wearing a helmet with the rear attachments designed to shield a batsman’s neck, and though it was the equipment that the ball seemed to strike, he immediately collapsed backwards, losing grip of his bat. He lay still on the popping crease, as the Sri Lanka physio and the Australian team doctor rushed on to the field.
Although clearly in immense discomfort, Dimuth was conscious throughout the episode, and was seen talking to the medical professionals assisting him. He also moved his hands and fingers.
“It was a bit scary at the start, the way he fell back initially but he was okay, throughout he was talking to the umpires and the physio.” Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha said after the day’s play.
The medical staff put a brace around his neck, transferred him gently on to a stretcher, then drove him off the field, with members of the Australia team showing concern, as well as Dimuth’s own team-mates. Australia captain Tim Paine and Cummins himself watched proceedings closely.
“It’s never nice,” Kurtis Patterson said. “You never like seeing that, you want your fast bowlers to be aggressive and try to set them up to get the nick, but you never like it when players go down like that. I haven’t heard but I’m hoping he’s okay, hoping he can come out and bat again tomorrow. All of us were in a little bit of shock but I think everyone is okay, which is good, so hoping he’s okay to bat again tomorrow.”
Dimuth is the fifth Sri Lanka player to suffer an injury on this brief tour, with four fast bowlers already having broken down. Dimuth had been batting well, on 46, when he was struck. His opening stand with Lahiru Thirimanne, worth 82, was Sri Lanka’s second-best first-wicket stand in Australia.