Zimbabwe – 136-6 in 20 overs (Sean Williams 60*, Craig Ervine 30, Ryan Burl 13*; Gavin Main 1/17, Michael Leask 1/23, Mark Watt 1/23)
Scotland – 126 all out in 19.4 overs (Matthew Cross 42, Richie Berrington 42, Michael Leask 25; Richard Ngarava 2/13, Wellington Masakadza 2/19, Tendai Chatara 2/28)
Zimbabwe won by 10 runs
Zimbabwe claimed four wickets in four deliveries in the final over to hand Scotland a 10-run defeat in the second Twenty20 international (T20I) match in Edinburgh on Friday.
The hosts had appeared in charge, requiring 27 runs from 18 deliveries with five wickets in hand for victory, but suffered a spectacular collapse in a dramatic finish to the game.
The series is now level at one-all going into Sunday’s decider at The Grange.
Zimbabwe decided to bat on winning the toss, but were soon in trouble.
In the second over, Innocent Kaia, making his T20I début, was caught at the wicket by Matthews Cross off Alasdair Evans for seven, immediately after hitting him for four.
Two more wickets fell in the third over, as his opening partner Regis Chakabva was caught off Mark Watt for eight, and then Wessly Madhevere was run out by Kyle Coetzer without facing a ball, to leave Zimbabwe reeling at 20 for three.
This brought the experienced pair of Craig Ervine and Sean Williams together, and they fought hard to pull Zimbabwe out of the sticky situation.
They had to take particular care and keep up a reasonable scoring rate at the same time, but they did this well and after 10 overs had taken the score to 59 for three.
The pair took the score to 91 in the 15th over when, after a partnership of 71, Ervine went for 30, caught by Coetzer off Michael Leask.
Milton Shumba was caught off Gavin Main for one, but Williams brought up the team 100 in the 17th over and then hit Leask for six.
He and Ryan Burl ran desperately between the wickets in their attempt to give Zimbabwe a reasonable score, and Williams reached his invaluable fifty off 46 balls.
Both batsmen hit fours in the penultimate over off Evans, and eight runs came off the final over from Safyaan Sharif, giving Zimbabwe a total of 136 for five after their 20 overs.
Williams finished unbeaten with 60, scored off 52 balls with five fours and a six, while Burl had 13 not out.
Four bowlers took a wicket each.
As in the first match, Sharif was the most economical, conceding only 21 runs off his four overs, although this time he took no wickets.
Scotland made a flying start to their reply, with Tendai Chatara going for 11 runs in the first over, including a six by George Munsey.
Then a superb over from Richard Ngarava gave Zimbabwe a quick advantage.
With his second delivery he had Coetzer caught by Kaia for two, and the new man, Ollie Hairs, was caught by Burl off his next ball; 11 for two.
Then Chatara struck back in his next over, having Munsey caught by Kaia for nine, before Burl took another catch to remove Calum MacLeod without scoring; 16 for four.
But the in-form Richie Berrington was still in, now joined by Matthew Cross.
The pair had to fight hard for their runs and after 10 overs the score was only 48 for four.
But they were now beginning to hit more confidently, and 19 came off the 11th over, bowled by Burl – Cross hit him for six and four, while Berrington finished the over with another six.
At 91, in the 15th over, Zimbabwe finally took the wicket of Berrington, caught by Madhevere off Williams for 42, scored off 43 balls.
They had put on 75 together in exactly 10 overs, and had turned the match around, because after 15 overs Scotland needed only another 39 runs to win.
Luke Jongwe bowled a good over that conceded only four runs, while Chatara gave away eight.
Then Jongwe took the vital wicket of Cross, who also made 42, scored off 35 balls, and with the score 110 for six in the 18th over, Zimbabwe had a chance of victory again.
Later in the over, however, Leask hit him for six, which left 17 to win off the final two overs.
Ngarava bowled finely to concede only four runs, which left Scotland to score 13 in the final over, bowled by Wellington Masakadza.
With his first ball Masakadza had Sharif caught for two, Burl taking his third catch of the innings.
The batsmen crossed, and off the next delivery Leask went for a risky two to keep the bowling, but managed to get his partner, Watt, run out.
Off the following delivery Leask was caught by Williams, which gave three wickets in three balls — but it was no hat-trick, as the second one was a run-out and not the bowler’s wicket.
It became four in four, as another desperate attempt at a run saw Main also run out without facing a ball, and Evans was left not out with one.
Scotland were all out for 126 with two deliveries left unbowled, and Zimbabwe had won the match and levelled the series by 10 runs.
Chatara, Ngarava and Masakadza all took two wickets in the innings, with Ngarava’s two for only 13 runs off his four overs being the best.