Punjab pacer Kamal Passi ripped apart the Zimbabwe batting order by taking the top five wickets as the African side was reduced to 117 for five in the 32nd over while chasing 262 before being shot out for 198 in 44.1 overs at Tony Ireland Stadium here.
Zimbabwe's middle order batsman Malcolm Lake gave a scare to the Indians and tried to make a contest out of the match with a strokeful 118 from just 107 balls but it ultimately was not enough.
Lake, who hit 10 fours and five sixes in his innings, was the last man out.
The only substantial partnership for Zimbabwe was the 87 runs between Lake and Luke Jongwe (29) for the fifth wicket from 20.2 overs, which briefly took their side to the path of recovery from being reduced to 30 for four in 11.4 overs. Apart from Lake and Jongwe, none of the other nine batsmen could reach double figures.
Passi took the first four Zimbabwe wickets during a six-over spell and returned to take two important wickets during the final 10 overs to end with figures of 6/23 from his 8.1 overs.
Passi, who also had made a valuable contribution with his five-ball 24 in India's innings, ended the Zimbabwe run chase by claiming the wicket of Kyle Bowie. Earlier, India piled on 261 runs for six after being put to bat with captain Unmukt Chand top-scoring with a strokeful 78.
Chand played a captain's knock as he punished the Zimbabwean bowlers with nine fours and three sixes from the 85 balls he faced. He and his opening partner Prashant Chopra (57) laid the platform for India's decent total with a stand of 139 in 26.3 overs.
Chopra played perfect foil to Chand as he held one end for half of the Indian innings, giving more strike to his captain. His 57 came from 82 balls with the help of seven fours.
The other substantial partnership for the Indians was between Baba Aparajith and Hanuma Vihari who together stitched 53 runs from 12.3 overs.
India play Papua New Guinea in their next match on August 16 at Endeavour Park, Townsville.
Brief Scores: India: 261 for 6 in 50 overs (Unmukt Chand 78, Prashant Chopra 57; Campbell Light 3/22). Zimbabwe: 198 all out in 44.1 (Malcolm Lake 118, Kamal Passi 6/23).