England’s Haseeb Hameed fractures finger

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LONDON: Haseeb Hameed, a contender for England´s Ashes tour to Australia, suffered a fractured finger batting for Lancashire against Middlesex at Lord´s on Thursday.

“We can confirm that @LancsCCC opener Haseeb Hameed has fractured a finger on his right hand at Lord´s,” said a statement on Lancashire´s Twitter feed after the close of play in their County Championship match.

Hameed´s injury came just two days after Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, a likely candidate for a place in the Ashes squad, suffered a lower back problem requiring scans to discover the full extent of the damage.

The 20-year-old Hameed had to fly home early from England´s tour of India late last year for an operation on a broken left hand.

He has yet to add to the three-Test caps he won in India following a poor start to the domestic county season.

But with England still having several doubts over top-order positions, Hameed has been touted to be included in the Ashes-holders´ squad for a five-Test series starting in November.

Thursday saw Hameed resume his innings in a bid to stave off defeat but he was left not out as Middlesex completed a 36-run win with England paceman Steven Finn taking 8-79.

The victory boosts the champions´ hopes of retaining their place among the elite — a win over fellow relegation rivals Somerset, who finished runners-up last season, would ensure their survival.

“With only three bowlers it was important we all stood up,” said Finn, a member of three previous Ashes-winning sides.

“We stuck to our plans and that paid dividends.

“It was a big game for the club. We came into it really needing the points. And it was about time I did something for the boys this season. I felt I bowled pretty consistently.”

England´s selectors now face an anxious wait to discover the extent of Hameed´s injury, with the Ashes squad due to be announced next week.