The tourists took an unassailable 2-0 lead with 47 balls to spare at the Alexandra Club. A three-over reduction in England's innings because of rain meant they were left to chase 151 to win.
Captain Michael Vaughan won the toss and put Zimbabwe in on a pitch offering movement and bounce. Melvyn Betts and Steve Harmison led the attack which restricted the opposition batting to only one contribution of more than 20. That came from the 22-year-old Raymond Price, the nephew of golfer Nick Price.
Betts took the first wicket when Craig Wishart chased a wide one to give Chris Read the first of his three catches behind the wicket. Paul Franks then had Dirk Viljoen caught by Andrew Flintoff at slip.
Flintoff then had Guy Whittall caught by Vaughan, Franks had Stuart Carlisle caught behind cutting, before Price was fifth out, playing on against the spinner Dean Cosker.
Cosker and Harmison then accounted for three wickets in eight balls. Then Jason Oates offered a catch behind, and from the next ball Andy Blignaut was taken in the gully.
Flintoff's third catch was his best, low and to his left to dismiss Gary Brent off Franks.
Inside eight overs England had lost two wickets, Mal Loye caught behind, and Flintoff at square leg. When Maddy was yorked by Blignaut to make it 33 for 3, the outcome was by no means certain. But Matt Windows and Vikram Solanki put the tourists back on track with a stand of 56 in nine overs.
England A won toss
R W Price b Cosker 35
C B Wishart c Read b Betts 7
D P Viljoen c Flintoff b Franks 14
*G J Whittall c Vaughan b Flintoff 0
S V Carlisle c Read b Franks 9
J M Oates c Read b Harmison 13
C N Evans c Flintoff b Cosker 15
G B Brent c Flintoff b Franks 8
A M Blignaut c Maddy b Harmison 0
B D Moore-Gordan c Vaughan b Franks 18
B T Watambwa not out 6
Extras (lb7, w18, nb4) 29
Total (46.1 overs) 154
Fall: 1-24, 2-54, 3-56, 4-71, 5-81, 6-111, 7-112, 8-112, 9-130.
Bowling: Betts 9-0-35-1; Harmison 10-0-23-2; Flintoff 5-0-18-1; Franks 9.1-1-34-4; Cosker 10-2-29-2; Maddy 3-1-8-0.
D L Maddy b Blignaut 16
M B Loye c Moore-Gordan b Blignaut 6
A Flintoff c Blignaut b Watambwa 8
V S Solanki b Brent 29
M G N Windows run out 19
*M P Vaughan not out 43
P J Franks c Viljoen b Brent 1
C M W Read not out 17
Extras (lb3, w4, nb8) 15
Total (for 6, 39.1 overs) 154
Fall: 1-21, 2-30, 3-33, 4-89, 5-95, 6-111.
Did not bat: D A Cosker, M N Betts, S J Harmison.
Bowling: Blignaut 10-2-56-2; Watambwa 8.1-3-45-1; Whittall 6-0-14-0; Price 4-1-8-0; Brent 10-1-21-2; Evans 1-0-7-0.
Umpires: K Barber and J Fenwick.