England's vice-captain Jos Buttler said he "feared the worst" when one of his typically powerful pull-shots hit Sri Lankan fielder Pathun Nissanka on his helmeted head from almost point-blank range.

Nissanka, aged 20 and fielding at short-leg only a couple of yards away from Buttler's bat, ducked and took the almost 6oz ball flush in the middle of his helmet.

"You always fear the worst," Buttler said. "I hit him [Nissanka] very hard and straight in the middle of the helmet but luckily the doctor and physio rushed straight on and treated him, and it's good to know he's doing better.

"It's always a thankless position to field [short-leg] and unfortunately these things can happen and hopefully he's not badly hurt. You're just worried, that's the nature of it. Of course you don't mean to cause injury, it's just a real unfortunate accident but he's doing a lot better."

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Nissanka, who Buttler said was never unconscious while lying on the ground, was strapped to a stretcher and taken to hospital. "He's stable and conscious - there's nothing alarming," said the Sri Lankan Board XI coach Avishka Gunawardene. But he added that Nissanka was going to have an MRI scan "to make sure there's no bleeding and that everything's ok".

After the ball hit Nissanka's helmet it rebounded to slip where Buttler was out, caught, following a recent change in the law. "You don't really care about getting out, you just hope the lad is okay," Buttler said.