Michael Coles is a shoo-in for this month’s Gunn & Moore Cricket World Club Performer of the Month award. He enjoyed a magical weekend at the beginning of June, scoring double-hundreds on both days and for two different teams.
It is the 246 that he made West of England Premier League side Bridgwater that saw him shortlisted for this month’s award. He hit 19 sixes during his 159-ball stay at the crease and helped his side pile up 447 for four from their 50 overs. It was the second highest score in the history of the league.
He went one better a day later. This time he hit an unbeaten 227 off only 201 balls to break a 115-year-old record for the highest score by a Wiltshire batsman on day one of their Minor Counties Championship match against Shropshire. Amazingly, this time, he ended up on the losing side.
Speaking to www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk, he reflected on his weekend’s exploits, saying, “It’s been really memorable but I really think it’s one of those things that’s going to take a long time to sink in. On Sunday [playing for Wiltshire], Ed Kilbee and Joe Breet put up a good platform to bat on and I probably didn’t really get going until I got past 100 - after that, I really started to attack the ball. I had a bit of a leg before shout during my innings, which could have gone either way, but luckily, it didn’t end up being given against me. A few of the other guys were taking videos, so it will be nice to have a proper watch of those because you can’t really enjoy it whilst you’re batting.
“Saturday [for club side Bridgwater] was much different because it was a completely different game [50 overs as opposed to 90] and I could just go for it from the start. I still can’t believe they happened in one weekend though.”
While the innings for Wiltshire wasn’t considered when choosing Coles as June’s winner of the G&M Cricket World Club Cricket Award, the 156 that he struck for Bridgwater against Downend a fortnight later certainly was. On this occasion, the innings lasted 142 balls and included seven sixes and set up his side’s match-winning total of 332 for seven and round off Coles’ record-breaking month with a bang.
The 31 year-old was on Somerset’s books many years ago and played four times for them at the beginning of the decade in the county one-day competition alongside the likes of a young Peter Trego and Gareth Andrew. He also played second XI cricket for Gloucestershire. Since then, he was a regular in Wiltshire’s Minor Counties Championship side until 2010 when he was left out for a couple of years before earning a recall this season.
Other players considered for this month’s award were Llandudno’s Jordan Kane (347 runs in June); Totton and Eling’s Jimmy Taylor (411 runs); Richmondshire’s Gary Pratt (370 runs); Great Witchingham’s James Spelman (350 runs;) and Budleigh Salterton’s James Burke (379 runs).
The Cricket World Gunn & Moore Club Performer of the Month award is awarded monthly to one non-county-contracted player from across the 26 ECB Premier Leagues.
© Cricket World 2013