Zimbabwe batsman Solomon Mire notched his second consecutive 50 to help the hosts reach 151 for 9 against Australia in the Twenty-20 tri-series in Harare.
Zimbabwe chose to bat first in their final game of the series, but were put under immediate pressure when opener Cephas Zhuwao edged the very first delivery, bowled by Billy Stanlake, through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey.
Three overs later they lost captain Hamilton Masakadza, chopping Jhye Richardson onto his own stumps immediately after hitting a six over deep fine leg.
It was also six-and-out for Tarisai Musakanda, who lifted a pacy delivery from Stanlake effortlessly over long on for six, then sliced the next delivery he faced down to third man where debutant Jack Wildermuth held onto a difficult catch.
With Musakanda's dismissal, Zimbabwe were 44 for 3 at the end of the Powerplay and in danger of sinking to a paltry score.
But Mire remained, and he Peter Moor rebuilt the innings with a 64-run fourth-wicket stand.
The pair were initially very patient, going seven overs without hitting a boundary, before opening up with a flurry of boundaries off Marcus Stoinis' medium pace and the spin of Ashton Agar.
Moor fell for 30, chasing quick runs, but Mire went on to bring up a 44-ball 50 in the 17th over.
Zimbabwe lost four wickets in two overs while charging at the death, with Andrew Tye once again starring with the ball, but the hosts' total will at least give their bowlers something to defend.
Zimbabwe is already out of the series, with Australia to face Pakistan in Sunday's final.