Happy New Year from the Barmy Army!
Let’s face it, the majority of us are more than happy to have left 2020 behind and be in a new year.
The last 12 months have been challenging for all of us but cricket has been there to raise our spirits throughout.
Though we weren’t able to be in the stands for the majority of the year, we were reminded time and time again how wonderful the game is.
Now we’ve seen the back of 2020, it is tempting to try and forget about it completely but we wanted to pay homage to the times it reminded us why we love cricket…
1. Stokesy inspires England to victory at Newlands
Arguably the finest moment of the year came right at the start. Newlands is one of the sport’s great stadiums and the first Test of 2020 served up a contest befitting that stage.
Led by Stokesy and fueled by the never-ending singing of the Barmy Army, Joe Root’s side pulled off a sensational win on day five to swing the momentum of the series back in England’s favour.
Ben Stokes… Sensational
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) January 7, 2020
2. Tom Curran holds his nerve to turn T20 series in England’s favour
While the tourists finished as 3-1 winners in the Test series, the three T20 contests that followed were much tighter.
South Africa won the first clash but England bounced back to win a nail-biter of a second match and went on to claim a series victory.
Curran’s ice-cold death bowling helped the tourists get over the line in the second T20 and the narrowest of finishes reminded us just how fantastic the format is.
💥 ENGLAND WIN BY TWO RUNS TO LEVEL THE SERIES 1-1. 💥
What a finish!!! Do not miss Sunday's decider!
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) February 14, 2020
3. England reach the T20 World Cup semi-finals in style
Heather Knight’s side may have been knocked out of the T20 World Cup under the most frustrating circumstances – with the semi-final rained off without a ball bowled – but they treated us to some sensational cricket before that.
England qualified for the semi-finals in style at the 2020 ICC T20 Women’s World Cup, with Nat Sciver’s tremendous strokeplay a particular highlight.
Boundaries hit by Nat Sciver against South Africa: 6
Boundaries hit by the rest of the England team combined: 7
— ICC (@ICC) February 23, 2020
4. Test cricket returns on home soil
There were points when it looked like we might be robbed of a home summer of international cricket but the arrival of the West Indies brought the return of Test cricket.
The first day of the series and the summer may have been cut short by rain but the game was back and both teams came together to send a powerful message!
Late Cut: England vs WI – D1 highlights
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 8, 2020
5. Broady proves his point and England come from behind to beat the West Indies
Stuart Broad gave a passionate interview after he was left out of the side for the first Test against the West Indies but his performances when he returned to the side spoke louder than anything else.
He would finish as the leading wicket-taker in the series, join the 500 club, and play a knock in the decisive Test that reminded us of his capabilities with the bat.
5⃣0⃣0⃣ FOR BROAD! 👏🎉👏
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 28, 2020
6. Woakesy and Buttler see England home against Pakistan
Pakistan were England’s second Test opponents of the summer and the first game of the series proved to be an absolute classic.
The tourists looked to have Rooty’s side on the ropes in the fourth innings but a sublime partnership between Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler helped see the hosts home.
🏴 ENGLAND WIN! 🏴
What a victory as they chase down 2️⃣7️⃣7️⃣ to beat Pakistan by 3️⃣ wickets.
Woakes finishes unbeaten on 84.
England 1-0 up in three-match #ENGvPAK series🏏
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) August 8, 2020
7. Crawley announces himself with mammoth double-ton
We’ve known about his talents for some time now but in the final Test of the summer, Zak Crawley announced himself too much of the cricketing world as one to watch.
The 22-year-old made his maiden Test century against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl and it was a big’un. Crawley played some glorious strokes as he moved past 150, 200, and then 250 before being dismissed for 267.
Jos Buttler’s fantastic century should not be overlooked either as he reached his highest Test score of 152.
A special moment for Zak Crawley as he reaches his first Test century!#ENGvPAK
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 21, 2020
8. Milestones for Jimmy and Broady
Is combining these two moments cheating slightly? Perhaps. Are we going to do it anyway? You bet!
It’s no secret to us that in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, we’re blessed with two greats of the game and both reached amazing landmarks this year.
Broady became just the second England bowler to take 500 wickets, while Jimmy (the first) became the only seam bowler to join the 600 Club. What a duo!
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) August 25, 2020
9. England produce dominant display against West Indies on home turf
The arrival of the West Indies in September meant Heather Knight’s side were back in action on home turf and they really made the most of it.
It was a dominant and, at times, breathtaking performance as they steamrolled the tourists and took the series 5-0.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 21, 2020
10. Malan reaches record ICC ranking with dazzling display
England’s white-ball tour of South Africa may have been cut short but Eoin Morgan’s side still got to flex their muscles in the T20s.
No player did that more than the world’s number one batsman in that format, Dawid Malan.
In the final match of the series, he hit produced a magical innings and despite finishing the game one short of a century, set the record for the highest ICC T20 batting ranking ever.
👌 MAGNIFICENT FROM MALAN 👌
This is a man at the very top of his game – and England look to be cantering to a series sweep of South Africa #SAvENG
The tourists need 24 from 24 balls 🇿🇦🏴
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) December 1, 2020