But the stocky all-rounder and his band of boys, who were participating in the mega event for the first time, tore the veil of anonymity in splendid fashion, defeating Australia by 13 runs at Trent Bridge.
Batting first, Zimbabwe were tottering at 94 for 5, but the left-hander produced a gritty unbeaten 69 to guide the Africans to a competitive 239. But a victory for Australia looked a mere formality when opener Kepler Wessles (76) and Graeme Wood added 61 runs, but Fletcher returned to torment the Aussies and he got rid of Wood first up.
The right-arm medium pacer added the scalps of Australian skipper Kim Hughes, David Hookes and Graham Yallop in a tremendous spell that read 11-1-42-4. Rodney Marsh made a quickfire unbeaten 50 off just 42 balls, but his audacious knock could not prevent a Zimbabwe win. They also became the first non-Test playing nation to win their maiden match in the World Cup.
Zimbabwe came into the match with an odd of 200-1 to win and many among the 7000-odd spectators made good fortune on that day, prompting them to throw a party for the winners.