New Zealand offspinner Mark Craig has fractured his right hand during Otago's Plunket Shield match against Auckland in Dunedin. He picked up the injury when he was hit by a beamer from seamer Lachie Ferguson while batting in Otago's chase. The injury forced Craig off the field, and is likely to put him completely out of action for at least six weeks.

"It hit his top hand on the full," Otago coach Nathan King said after the game. "He contemplated carrying on, but he then realised his hand was pretty sore and stiffening up. By the time he came off the field he couldn't even hold onto his bat anymore."

Craig, one of New Zealand's preferred long-format spinners, had played in their previous Test series against Australia at home in February. His hand will be in a cast for six weeks, reported, before he begins rehabilitation work on the hand in a bid to be back to full fitness in time for New Zealand's tour to South Africa in August.

Batting at No. 7, Craig was on zero when the incident occurred, with Otago on 92 for 5. They went on to lose the game by 10 runs, chasing 218.