Harry Tector and Curtis Campher set up Ireland for a series-levelling four-wicket T20I victory over Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday.
The last of three internationals is set for Sunday, when the hosts will be handicapped by the absence for a second straight match of suspended captain and star all-rounder Sikandar Raza.
Seeking a series-clinching second win after a last-ball triumph on Thursday, Zimbabwe made 165-5 with an unbeaten 44 from wicketkeeper Clive Madande the highlight.
Ireland recovered after openers Andy Balbirnie and captain Paul Stirling exited with 20 runs on the board to reach 166-6 with two balls remaining in a second tense finish within three days.
“That was a special [66-run fourth-wicket ] partnership by Tector and Campher – a sign of the maturity they have shown in the past couple of years,” said Stirling.
Tector (48) and Campher (37) came together with Ireland 54-3 and turned the match in favour of the tourists, who will also play three ODIs.
Campher struck four fours in a 24-ball knock that ended when his attempted slog off Brian Bennett was caught at long-on by Luke Jongwe.
Tector departed nine balls later having hit five fours off 38 balls. His bid to steer the ball down leg side backfired when it slipped between his bat and pad and upended the leg stump.
Raza, who starred with bat and ball in the opening match, was barred for two matches after aggressively charging toward Campher and Josh Little on Thursday.
© Agence France-Presse