Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim took career-best figures of four for 11 as Pakistan beat Zimbabwe by 13 runs in the first Twenty20 international at the Harare Sports Club.
Set 137 for victory, the home side could only muster 123 for nine in reply after Pakistan had elected to bat.
Wasim, 26, proved chief destroyer as he bagged the wicket of in-form opener Chamu Chibhabha for a duck before reducing Zimbabwe to 66 for five when he dismissed Sean Williams (14) in the 12th over.
Captain Elton Chigumbura (31) was the only home batsman to muster much resistance to the visitors' attack, before he became the third run out of the innings in the final over.
News: Chances of Ind-Pak cricket series getting ''slimmer'
Earlier, Shoaib Malik (35) top-scored for the tourists as they posted 136 for eight in 20 overs and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan finished unbeaten on a measured 33 from 32 balls.
Seamer Chamu Chibhabha was the pick of the home bowlers with three for 18, his best figures in Twenty20 internationals.
The final match of the 20-over series will be played at the same venue on Tuesday, after which the teams will contest three ODIs starting on Thursday.
Pakistan 136-8 (Malik 35, Chibhabha 3-18)
Zimbabwe 123-9 (Chigumbura 31, Wasim 4-11)