Elton Chigumbura made a rapid unbeaten half-century and Neville Madziva produced a magnificent final over as Zimbabwe pulled off a shock two-run victory over India in the first game of the three-match Twenty20 series at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe's abysmal displays with the bat saw them slump to a one-day international series whitewash against MS Dhoni's side, but Chigumbura blasted 54 not out from only 26 balls as they posted 170-6 on Saturday.
That target was more than India had to chase in all three of the ODIs and proved to be enough to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series as India fell short on 168-6.
Manish Pandey top scored with 48 and India looked set for victory when they only needed eight off the last over from Madziva (1-34) with expert finisher Dhoni at the crease, but the seamer's superb display of death bowling denied the tourists.
Hamilton Masakadza flexed his muscles as Zimbabwe got off to a promising start, smashing debutant Jaydev Unadkat for two sixes in an over before Jasprit Bumrah (2-24) dismissed the opener.
Richmond Mutumbami retired hurt after being struck around the hip by a Unadkat delivery and it was left for Chigumbura to strike some blows of his own to make a game of it, clearing the ropes seven times with some lusty blows in a magnificent 26-ball knock.
KL Rahul, another of India's five debutants, was brought back down to earth after an impressive ODI series when he was bowled off the first ball of the innings from Donald Tiripano (1-35).
Mandeep Singh (31) was one of several batsmen to get starts but fail to go on and Pandev appeared to have put India on course for victory.
But even the presence of Dhoni at the crease was unable to deny Zimbabwe a second consecutive T20 win over the tourists as Madziva playing a starring role with the ball in a tense finale, with captain Dhoni failing to hit the four needed to win off the last ball.