Zimbabwe opener Kevin Kasuza was taken off the field on a stretcher after being struck flush on the helmet for the second time in two Tests.
He was rushed to the hospital for scans and was later diagnosed with a mild concussion.* Although he is stable, medical staff will continue monitoring him. Timycen Maruma has been named as his replacement.
Kasuza sustained the blow on the third morning of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Harare when Kusal Mendis nailed a powerful back-foot pull, which hit the side of the helmet of forward short-leg fielder Kasuza, who immediately hit the ground even as the ball ricocheted to square leg, where Carl Mumba took the catch to send back Mendis for 22 off 73 balls.
Kasuza was in visible pain and was consequently stretchered off the field by the Zimbabwe medical staff.
Incidentally, it was a repeat of what happened in the first Test. Then, too, it was Mendis, who had struck Kasuza on the helmet when he was fielding at the same position on the third day of the match. In that game, Kasuza had not immediately felt the effects of the blow, but suffered a delayed concussion and was eventually substituted out of the match, which was his international debut. As a result, Zimbabwe named a like-for-like replacement in opener Brian Mudzinganyama.
While Kasuza has endured a tough time on the field in his first two Tests, he has shown promise with the bat, following up his 63 in the first Test with an equally solid 38 in the second. Kasuza helped see off the new ball in the second Test and set the base for Zimbabwe’s first-innings total of 406.
*The story was updated at 13.15GMT with the concussion news.