Zimbabwe 117 for 7 (Chakabva 47, Young 2-15, Simi 2-22) beat Ireland 114 for 9 (Simi 28*, Burl 3-22, Masakadza 2-18) by three runs
Dublin: Ireland lost to Zimbabwe by three runs in the first of five Twenty20 internationals between the sides.
Zimbabwe were in trouble at 5-2 but Regis Chakabva top-scored with 47 off 28 balls to help steer the tourists to a total of 117-7 at Clontarf.
Ireland began their reply strongly, as Paul Stirling scored 24 and opening partner Kevin O'Brien got 25.
But despite Simi Singh's unbeaten 28, the hosts fell narrowly short of their target, Ryan Burl taking 3-22.
Wellington Masakadza and Luke Jongwe took two wickets apiece to help their side to victory.
For O'Brien, his creditable knock marked something of a return to form, the 37-year-old having managed only two runs in the three T20 defeats by South Africa in July a month after opting to end his one-day international career.
Masakadza also performed strongly with the bat, scoring 19 not out in his side's innings. Craig Young and Singh both claimed two Zimbabwean wickets.