Never before has Charles Coventry made 194 runs in any form of cricket. In fact, only twice before has he passed the three magical numbers, and of these none of them have been remotely close to the 200 he was surely set for on Sunday against Bangladesh.
Not over the two Test matches he played before he went into self-imposed exile after a spat with former coach Kevin Curran; not over many four day matches that regularly pass as first class matches in Zimbabwe’s limited domestic game; not even in a three-year sojourn playing club cricket until last year in England.
But on Sunday, in just under 50 overs of cricket, he let rip. God, it was glorious this lashing out of willow over leather, the brute animal power and mind coming together to complete an innings if such epoch proportions; a white man's latent anger in a country that has so unjustly lashed out against their race.
Such innings have seldom little to do with cricket than the person beneath the spectacles.
It was surely an injustice that Zimbabwe’s flatulent bowling efforts out did all of Coventry’s work and they will be much frustration and gnashing of teeth before Tuesday’s final and ultimately pointless game resumes.
But the man who set a record equaling 194 runs in world cricket is not one normally to be taken so seriously as person, let alone one who his teammates can entrust on a national game.
Four months ago for Zimbabwe A in South Africa, as he and teammate mark Vermeluen started what has now been termed by scribes a remarkable come back into the folds of the nation’s cricket, Coventry sat watching underneath a makeshift tent erected as the team changing rooms by the hosts in Benoni.
In due course, maybe because of boredom, maybe because of a constipated or upset stomach he let rip four in intermittent and full-blown farts as his teammates looked on aghast. They disgustedly moved away and, only Vermeluen didn’t seem to mind, but that seemed in opinion two of a kind. Utterly eccentric and certainly not to be taken seriously.
And so the series has been taken away by immaculate Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh, but thanks to Coventry astonishing innings, and the brave Tigers of Bangladesh the next few innings from all batsmen concerned are ones to look forward to.