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Lightning strike fells Test star

Two players were struck by lightning during Thursday's Red Stripe Bowl match between Trinidad and the Windward Islands in Jamaica. Trinidad's Mervyn Dillon and the Windwards' Fernix Thomas were both felled as Thomas moved in to bowl to Dillon. The pair were taken to the University Hospital of the West Indies for overnight observation where their condition was described as "stable", and visitors later in the day said both the players were laughing and joking.

The incident occurred when a bolt of lightning struck from what witnesses said was a clear blue sky. Dillon slowly slumped to the ground clutching his left side, while Thomas ran unsteadily to the pavilion. The strike was accompanied by a clap of thunder which Tony Gray, Trinidad and Tobago's coach, described as "the loudest noise I have ever heard". Spectators rushed for shelter, and although several players were seen on the ground it appeared that most had dived for cover rather than been struck.

It was a surprise when the decision was made shortly afterwards to resume the match, and more so when Thomas took the field after receiving treatment. He bowled two more overs before complaining of a headache and a burning sensation on his neck and walking off. Shortly after Thomas and Dillon - who had been receiving treatment in the pavilion - were taken away in an ambulance. As play continued the skies darkened and more lightning and thunder could be seen and heard nearby, but it took a heavy downpour to send the players scurrying for cover, and shortly after the match was abandoned with the outfield underwater.

It is not thought that Dillon's availability for selection for West Indies' forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe will be affected.