Mushfiqur out of immediate danger after helmet blow

New Zealand v Bangladesh - 1st Test: Day 5
Mushfiqur Rahim was peppered by bouncers and one kept a touch low to hit him behind the left ear © Getty Images

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was hit on the back of the helmet on the fifth day and had to be taken to hospital. The incident took place in the 43rd over of Bangladesh’s second innings when Tim Southee bowled a bouncer that hit Mushfiqur just behind his left ear as he was trying to duck. Initial X-rays and scans to his neck suggested he was out of immediate danger.

He returned to Basin Reserve later in the day and, though he did not take the field, attended the post-match presentation where he said he was “feeling much better” though “a bit of pain” persisted.

For a moment or so after being hit, Mushfiqur seemed stunned, kneeling at the crease, trying to clear his head. As soon as he went down on his back and lay spread-eagled on the pitch, it became clear he was in trouble. Medical staff from both teams came out to offer him first aid and the ambulance on standby at the ground was asked to come on and take him off the field. He was taken to Wellington Hospital about 300 metres from Basin Reserve for further treatment.

Tamim Iqbal, who was with Mushfiqur while he was receiving first-aid, said “He is fine. He spoke to us. He has been taken for precaution.”

That Mushfiqur was out in the middle in the first place was remarkable considering he had injured his hand while batting in the first innings and did not take the field on days three and four. For the 53 balls he faced on Monday, he was peppered with bouncers as New Zealand tried to make life uncomfortable for him in an effort to push for a come-from-behind victory.

While Mushfiqur was nervous against the short ball early in his innings, with time at the crease, he was able to pick the length early and duck under them comfortably. It was the fuller deliveries that caused him problems, his bottom hand flew off the bat in response to the pain from the jarring of ball hitting bat, which hinted at the possibility of a broken finger.

The short balls didn’t stop though and with less than half an hour to go to lunch one kept lower than Mushfiqur anticipated and he was hit. He was the second Bangladeshi batsman to retire hurt in their second innings after Imrul Kayes seemed to suffer a thigh strain late last evening.

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