HASHIM AMLA was forced off the field after being struck on the head by England new-boy Jofra Archer in the World Cup opener.
The veteran South Africa opener had made five off eight balls at the start of his side’s pursuit of England’s 311-8 at The Oval.
Amla had cut Archer for his first boundary at the start of the fourth over of his side’s response when the England man dropped one in short.
The 92mph ball flew past the edge of Amla’s bat and struck him solidly on the helmet.
The blow was a fearful one, a solid clang that rocked the batsman.
Initially, despite taking his tin off, Amla seemed okay to continue, although South African medics were swiftly at the scene.
LEFT IN A DAZE
But after a couple of minutes of treatment, concerns for the 36-year-old became clear.
It seemed that the concussion protocol alerts had been triggered by Amla’s responses.
And after a five minute delay, the struggling Amla was led from the field, in what seemed a slight daze.
Amla walked slowly back to the pavilion and dressing rooms, accompanied by his side’s medical team, in what was a decision taken for him by the doctors.
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It meant an early arrival for the in-form Aiden Markram, who has starred for Hampshire this season.
But Markram scored just 11 before he was caught by Joe Root off Markram, giving England their first breakthrough.
Whether Amla will be cleared to return to the crease later in the innings was uncertain.