CANBERRA - Dimuth Karunaratne had substantial medical attention and was stretchered off the field, after sustaining a nasty blow to the back of the head from a short delivery bowled by Pat Cummins. He was soon taken to the hospital and discharged a few hours later, and SLC confirmed he was “all cleared”.*

“Dimuth has been discharged from Canberra hospital following assessment and all cleared. A further update will be provided on his playing status tomorrow prior to play,” an update from SLC said. A board release later on Saturday also said Karunaratne “will have to undergo a concussion test tomorrow morning before making a decision on his availability for the rest of the match.”

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.

“He’s in the hospital at the moment and he’s in good spirits,” Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha said after the day’s play. “He’s being assessed, there’s no danger at the moment. He was talking to us before he was leaving as well. “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. He was hit on the back of the head, back of the neck so he’s being assessed at the moment.”

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.”

An update put out through Cricket Australia said: “Dimuth complained of pain in neck and tingling to his hands following being struck in the back of the neck, decision then made to transport him to hospital where he is currently being assessed. Updates will be provided when more is known.”

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.