Looking well on course to his seventh One-Day International (ODI) century, Gill was eventually beaten by the scorching Mumbai heat as he suffered cramps during the 23rd over of the first innings.
When Gill began to cramp and India decided to take him off, the young batter was on 79 off 65 balls, hitting eight boundaries and three sixes as India were cruising at 164 for 1. It is still not clear if the opener, who was replaced by Shreyas Iyer, would return to bat later in the innings.
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Gill, who has recorded four half-centuries in the World Cup 2023, reached the 50-run mark off 41 balls on Wednesday at Wankhede Stadium. The 24-year-old batter, along with captain Rohit Sharma, gave India a flying start after the hosts won the toss and opted to bat in the first semi-final of the ongoing tournament in India. The two batters put up 71 runs for the first wicket before Sharma fell to Black Caps pacer Tim Southee in the ninth over.
The Indian captain scored a 29-ball 47, where he struck four sixes and as many fours. After his dismissal, Gill switched gears and took charge of the innings.
Gill missed India’s opening two matches of the group stage this World Cup due to a dengue fever. He has scored 349 runs in eight innings, including the one in the ongoing game against New Zealand.
Sharma, meanwhile, claimed the record for most sixes in the Men’s Cricket World Cup on Wednesday. The Indian captain was two sixes away from equalling the record of 49 sixes in the tournament held by West Indies’ Chris Gayle.
The 35-year-old batter struck four sixes during his short stay at the crease against the Black Caps and piped Gayle in yet another six-hitting record. Sharma has hit 51 sixes in 27 Cricket World Cup matches, in comparison to Gayle’s 49 in 35 matches for the West Indies in the prestigious ICC event.
India have reached 270 runs in 37 overs, with Virat Kohli and Iyer at the crease.