He slammed seven of them as the centrepiece of a 77-run innings in only 57 balls following an enforced steady start when Zimbabwe had been struggling even to make 200.
His efforts mean Zimbabwe were able to post 244-8 and Bangladesh, within a half-hour period, moved from coasting to having to meet a serious challenge.
At stake is the series of four matches here. Either Bangladesh will come out of it with a very satisfying 3-1 win or Zimbabwe will square it 2-2.
Zimbabwe got off to a poor start on Saturday, losing openers Terrence Duffin and the previous success of the series Vusi Sibanda, and only 22 on the scoreboard.
But Sean Williams with 51 in 73 balls and Chaminurwa Chibhabha, who made 54, also in 73 balls, pulled the situation around for the home side.
They put on 101 for the third wicket and although other wickets fell quickly Chigumbura came in to take command with Prosper Utseya and Anthony Ireland acting as singles-making foils at the other end.
Mashrafe Mortaza finished with three wickets for 52. But until he fell victim to some of Chigumbura's hitting he had 3 for 5. He has been Bangladesh's bowling success of the tour.
The winning score required of 249 means Bangladesh will have to move along at an average of five an over. It is well within their grasp, and the stakes are high for both countries.
Zimbabwe 244 for 8 in 50 overs (Elton Chigumbura 77, C Chibhabha 54, Sean Williams 51; M Mortaza 3 for 52) Vs Bangladesh (yet to bat)