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Smriti Mandhana stable but under observation after blow to the helmet

BCCI: "Smriti was diagnosed with a mild soft tissue injury to her left earlobe which caused discomfort while batting"

ESPNcricinfo staff
27-Feb-2022 • Updated on 28-Feb-2022
Smriti Mandhana was hit on the helmet, India vs South Africa, Women's World Cup, Rangiora, February 27, 2022

Smriti Mandhana was hit on the helmet by a Shabnim Ismail bouncer  •  ICC via Getty Images

India opener Smriti Mandhana is "stable", but "under observation" after suffering a blow to her "left ear and lower temple" during the team's first warm-up fixture against South Africa on Sunday. She is expected to take part in the Women's World Cup, where India's campaign starts on March 6.
Mandhana was struck by a Shabnim Ismail bouncer in Rangiora. She was assessed on the field by the match-day doctor, who felt she was fit to continue, only for Mandhana to retire hurt an over-and-a-half later after another consultation. She was visibly shaken at the time.
An ICC report said afterwards that Mandhana "felt no concussion symptoms according to the medical staff at the time, nor experienced delayed effects from the incident". The BCCI, however, issued a statement* a day later on Monday, saying that the doctor did expect the blow to lead to "a delayed concussion".
"After further assessment, Smriti was diagnosed with a mild soft tissue injury to her left earlobe which caused discomfort while batting and therefore she had to leave the field retired hurt," the statement said. "As a safety precaution, she was rested for the rest of the match and is currently under observation. Presently, the opening batter is doing fine and her condition is stable.
"Her progress will be monitored by the medical team and a decision on her participation in the next match will be taken accordingly."
India are scheduled to play another warm-up game, against West Indies, before kicking off their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on March 6.
India posted a total of 244 for 9 against South Africa, thanks to a century from Harmanpreet Kaur. After Deepti Sharma departed for 5 and captain Mithali Raj was run-out for a duck, Harmanpreet joined Yastika Bhatia at the crease and the duo put up an 84-run stand. Bhatia scored a 78-ball 58 before being dismissed by Sune Luus. While the rest of the line-up crumbled to South Africa's quicks, Harmanpreet kept going, helping stretch the total beyond 200 before falling to Ayabonga Khaka. Khaka was South Africa's best bowler of the day, finishing with figures of 3 for 23.
South Africa put up a strong fight in the chase. Luus and Laura Wolvaardt made composed half-centuries but they couldn't get the team across the line. India squeaked to victory by two runs with left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad picking up 4 for 46 in ten overs.
The story was updated at 10.40am GMT on Monday, February 28, 2022, following a statement from the BCCI.