A. E. J. Collins – Another century

ARTHUR EDWARD JEUNE ‘JAMES’ COLLINS is not a name known to most sports fans. In fact he’s more likely to be mentioned on Q.I. rather than A Question of Sport.

Yet it was A.E.J. Collins who, as a 13-year-old boy, scored more runs in a single innings than W.G. Grace, Sir Donald Bradman, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, or anyone else for that matter, ever did.

A.E.J. Collins in his whites. (cliftoncollege.com)

A.E.J. Collins in his whites. (cliftoncollege.com)

On this day, the 100th anniversary of his death during the First Battle of Ypres, this blog celebrates his great achievement.

Captaining and opening the batting for Clark’s House in a Clifton College junior house match against North Town House over five afternoons in June 1899, Collins made a stratospheric 628 not out.

His innings lasted six hours and 50 minutes, and consisted of one 6, four 5s, thirty-one 4s,  thirty-three 3s, one-hundred and forty-six 2s and eighty-seven singles. He was dropped seven-times on 80, 100, 140, 400, 556, 605 and 619. Remember boys, catches win matches. The second highest scorer was Extras (46). Number 7, Whitty, was the next highest scorer with 42.

Clark’s final innings total was 836, Collins having made 75.12-per-cent of his side’s total. The Test match record is 67.35-per-cent.

But Collins was man of the match for more than just his exploits with the bat. After keeping them in the field for almost seven hours, Collins then made sure North Town didn’t spend too long out in the middle.

With the ball in his hand, young A.E.J. took 7-33 as North Town were dismissed for just 87 in their first innings, a deficit of 749 runs. Naturally they were forced to follow-on and were duly skittled out for 61, Collins taking 4-30. This gave him match bowling figures of 11-63, and Clark’s House won by an innings and 688 runs.

A more detailed match description can be read here.

After leaving school Collins joined the Army, and represented the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich at football, rugby and cricket before joining the Royal Engineers, where he would go on to achieve the rank of Captain.

Collins married Ethel Slater in the spring of 1914 but was killed in action on 11th November the same year at the first Ypres, aged just 29. His grave was lost to the war too, and his name is one of 54,896 on the Menin Gate, also in Ypres.

Collins was K.I.A. 100 years ago today.

Collins was K.I.A. 100 years ago today.

In Collins’ honour, here is the list he has topped for the last 115 years:

Highest individual score by a batsman in any form of cricket

Pos.

Batsman

Score

Match

Location

Season

1

A.E.J. Collins

628*

Clark’s House vs. North Town

Clifton College

1899

2

C.J. Eady

566

Break-o’-Day vs. Wellington

Hobart

1901/02

3

P.P. Shaw

546

St. Francis vs. Rizvi

Azad Maidan

2013/14

4

D.R. Havewalla

515

B.B & C.I Railways vs. St. Xavier’s

Bombay

1933/34

5

J.C. Sharp

506*

Melbourne GS vs. Geelong College

Melbourne

1914/15

6

Chaman Lal

502*

Mehandra Coll, Patiala vs. Government Coll, Rupar

Patiala

1956/57

7

B.C. Lara

501*

Warwickshire vs. Durham

Birmingham

1994

8

Hanif Mohammad

499

Karachi vs. Bahawalpur

Karachi

1958/59

9

Armaan Jaffer

498

Rizvi Springfield School vs. IES Raja Shivaji School

Mumbai

2010/11

10

A.E. Stoddart

485

Hampstead vs. Stoics

Hampstead

1886

Note: George Gunn scored 777* in a Single-Wicket match against a Nottinghamshire amateur.

The plaque at Clifton College commemorating Collins’ innings. (cricketcountry.com)

The plaque at Clifton College commemorating Collins’ innings. (cricketcountry.com)

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About Alex Crouch 92

I'm a lifelong Formula One fan who also enjoys classic rock/heavy metal music.
This entry was posted in Cricket, Sport, World War 1 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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