Perth Scorchers fast bowler Matt Kelly has copped an outfield throw to the face before falling to the ground in scary scenes against the Melbourne Renegades.
There were initially fears for Kelly’s safety after he lay unmoving on the turf but after going from the field, it was reported he had only suffered a laceration and was undergoing concussion protocols.
Kelly was standing at the bowlers end ready to receive a throw from the outfield when the ball cannoned into Melbourne Renegades batter Aaron Finch’s bat, ricocheting into the face of the Scorchers player.
On replay, it appeared to hit him in the nose or cheekbone.
But after falling to the turf, the players stood back and allowed the medical team to assist Kelly.
With blood pouring from his nose he was eventually sat up and was assisted from the field and replaced in the game under concussion protocols.
Several overs later, Fox Cricket sideline reporter Nicola Bolton reported that Kelly was all right and hadn’t been sent to hospital.
“He’s still currently going through the concussion protocols after that sickening ball to the face,” Bolton said.
“As far as we know, he’s just suffered a laceration just next to his mouth. But he’s in good spirits, he hasn’t been taken to hospital but obviously we’ve seen the Scorchers take the concussion sub rule for Peter Hatzoglou to bowl out the rest of the overs.
“So he’s okay, he’s still here, fingers crossed he’s looking okay by the end of the game.”
At the end of the game, Cameron Bancroft said it was hard to watch but that the Scorchers medical staff would take great care of him.
“It was pretty sickening to be out there and watch it,” he said.
“It looked like he was knocked out cold there for a little bit but the most pleasing thing was that he got up and walked off the field, which was a positive thing.”
CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy tweeted: “Freak accident at Optus Stadium.
“The ball ricochets of Aaron Finch’s bat and into Matt Kelly’s face, near the cheekbone. Was out cold for a number of seconds, but is now sitting up.
“Really hard watch.”
He reported that Kelly’s Scorchers teammate Stephen Eskinazi clarified he hadn’t been knocked out but that there was a lot of blood.
McKirdy also said the DJ played: “ … Stayin’ Alive, followed by Shake It Off. Bit of class would have been nice there for one of their own.”
AJ Tye also left the field after he dropped a catch, leaving him bleeding from the nose.
But it was another big win for the Scorchers, who wrapped up the minor premiership and will host The Qualifier against the Sydney Sixers, both who have locked in first and second respectively.
The Scorchers smashed a remarkable 0/62 off the first four overs before tallying 5/212 in front of its home crowd.
Cameron Bancroft hit his highest BBL score, finishing on 95 not out off 50 balls.
The Renegades fought hard but fell 10 runs short.
Shaun Marsh hit 54 off 34 balls in his BBL return, before Finch slammed 76 off 35 balls.
However, it wasn’t enough as the Scorchers booked a home final for the grand final qualifier on Saturday night.