Joe Burns century, Italy vs Romania scorecard, T20 World Cup qualifier, video, highlights-Selambe

Italy is one step closer towards qualifying for the 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup after former Australian opener Joe Burns clobbered an unbeaten century during Sunday’s must-win subregional qualifier against Romania in Rome.The 34-year-old, eligible to represent Italy through his mother’s heritage, struck 108 not out during the 160-run victory at Simar Cricket Ground, the highest score by an Italian player in men’s T20Is.Italy posted 4-244 after Romania won the toss and chose to bowl first, with Burns, donning the number 85 as tribute to his late brother Dominic, smacking four sixes and 12 fours during a 55-ball onslaught.The Romanians, batting on a synthetic pitch, never looked like reeling in the 245-run target, bowled out for 84 in 17.4 overs as Italy cruised through to the next stage of the qualification process.Get all the latest cricket news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!Italy, fighting for a spot in the 2026 T20 World Cup, topped the Europe Qualifier Group A standings after winning four consecutive matches during the group stage, while Burns finished as the tournament’s second-leading run-scorer with 211 runs at 70.33.The final round of the European qualifiers will occur next year, where Italy will compete against the likes of Scotland.Burns represented Australia in 23 Tests and six ODIs between 2014 and 2020, scoring four centuries and 1442 runs at 36.97 for his country of birth.The 34-year-old wasn’t offered a state contract with Queensland ahead of the 2024/25 season, with his Big Bash League deal with the Melbourne Stars also coming to an end.

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