Birmingham, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — As a wicketkeeper Alex Carey is used to catching things at high speed. That now includes his helmet.
England pacer Jofra Archer — who can reach speeds of 150 kph (95 mph) — bowled a rising delivery which hit Carey around the jaw with enough force to knock off his protective helmet in their Cricket World Cup semifinal on Thursday.
Carey's reactions were sufficiently quick to catch the helmet — avoiding any danger to his stumps — before immediately raising a hand and calling for aid.
Carey saw the funny side of it afterward despite the Australia batsman needing six stitches around the chin area.
"The (helmet's) buckle clicked and it fell off. It was the best catch of the tournament for me," he joked. "I didn't really have too much time to be scared once it hit me, it was catch the lid and play on. That happens in cricket."
There was a lengthy delay as Carey was checked over and his bleeding chin was bandaged. He was on 4 at the time, and was allowed to keep going. His side was also in trouble, and he was needed to steady the innings.
Carey needed medical attention twice more, eventually receiving bandaging around his jaw and head.
Batting with blood seeping through the bandages, the left-hander shared a 103-run partnership for the fourth wicket with former captain Steve Smith after the pair came together on 14-3.
Carey was eventually caught on the boundary after advancing to attack a delivery from spinner Adil Rashid. He departed for a 70-ball 46 in the 28th over, with four boundaries.
"He's very tough ... the ball got pushed back through the grille," Australia captain Aaron Finch said. "Apparently he looks all clear for any clinical tests for a fracture or anything like that."
Serious head injuries are rare in cricket but the danger is always there, even with a helmet.
Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died in 2014 two days after he was hit on the head by a ball during a domestic first-class match. He was wearing a helmet.