Tim Southee fractures bone in right thumb 20 days away from New Zealand’s ODI World Cup opener

    Tim Southee fractures bone in right thumb 20 days away from New Zealand’s ODI World Cup opener

    Injury just 20 days away from New Zealand’s ODI World Cup opener; timeline for his recovery will be established tomorrow

    Vithushan Ehantharajah

    Tim Southee was in discomfort after hurting his thumb attempting a catch  Getty Images

    Scans have confirmed that Tim Southee has dislocated and fractured a bone in his right thumb, the injury occurring while he attempted to take a catch during England’s innings at Lord’s on Friday, in the fourth ODI against New Zealand. A timeline for his recovery will be established on Saturday when he undergoes further assessment.

    Southee suffered the injury trying to grab a catch off Joe Root (on 8 at the time) while fielding at a wide first slip off the last delivery of the 14th over, bowled by Ben Lister. He signalled his discomfort immediately before being escorted off the field by a member of the touring medical team.

    He did not return to the field for the remainder of England’s innings – Trent Boult replaced him as a substitute fielder – and left the ground to undergo a scan. With just 20 days before New Zealand begin their World Cup campaign, against England in Ahmedabad in the opening game of the tournament, New Zealand will hope the further assessment can allow Southee to keep his place in the 15-man squad for what will be his fourth ODI World Cup.

    Remarkably, Southee was the third of three injuries sustained in New Zealand’s cordon. Daryl Mitchell dislocated his ring finger taking a smart low catch to dismiss Jonny Bairstow, before Finn Allen – on for Mitchell – dislocated the little finger on his right hand when giving Root his first life on 7 after a misjudged late cut, again off Lister. Root was unable to make the most of the two bits of fortune, eventually bowled by Rachin Ravindra for 29. However, Allen was later cleared of any further damage to his finger.

    Lister’s misery was compounded when he hobbled off with a hamstring issue after bowling six overs. Neither Allen – later cleared for a fracture or break of his finger – nor Lister, who was drafted into this series as a replacement for Adam Milne, are in the World Cup squad.

    Mitchell was able to return to the field and cover for the loss of two quicks with seven overs of medium pace. He finished with figures of 2 for 40, removing Jos Buttler for 36 with his fourth delivery, and then snaring David Willey in the final over as England reached 311 from their 50 overs.

    Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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