Pakistan 130 for 2 (Shafique 41, Khushdil 36*, Masakadza 1-19) beat Zimbabwe 129 for 9 (Chibhabha 31, Qadir 4-13, Wasim 2-27) by eight wickets
In a game so similar to the second T20I it could almost be a carbon copy, Pakistan eased to a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe to complete a clean sweep over the visitors. It was another game lit up by a delightful spell from Usman Qadir whose 4 for 13 ripped Zimbabwe to shreds as they stuttered to 129, their lowest total of the series. Pakistan made short work of the chase again, getting to the target with a dismissive Khushdil Shah six with nearly five overs to go. Zimbabwe failed to apply any pressure on a youthful top order; Babar Azam decided to push debutant Abdullah Shafique up the order, who didn't disappoint, his 33-ball 41 the top score.
Zimbabwe won the toss, and for the fifth straight time on tour, the visitors batted first. But if the opening stand has been an Achilles heel for Chamu Chibhabha's side, the entire bating order failed to turn up on Tuesday. Brendan Taylor's dry run in this format continued when he holed out to square leg off Imad Wasim while Haris Rauf snared Craig Ervine with a lovely outswinger two overs later.
But it was the Qadir show once again. He demonstrated the exciting potential he carries with a mesmeric spell of legspin bowling. He coaxed a top edge from Chibhabha, who top-scored for Zimbabwe with 31, with his second delivery, allowing just one run off the bat in that first over. If the previous T20I game was a showcase of how well Qadir bowled the googly, he demonstrated today he wasn't a bad exponent of the traditional legbreak either. Giving the ball air and beating the Zimbabweans in the flight consistently, he kept the run-scoring on a leash, and as the pressure began to build, he forced low-percentage slogs from them.
Milton Shumba was beaten all ends up by a googly that simply required the wicketkeeper to whip off the bails, while Wesley Madhevere was undone by the classical legbreak as he tried to see him off with a defensive shot. As was the case on Monday, Qadir would remove Elton Chigumbura, playing his last international game, off the final ball of his spell, whose inside edge was sharply pounced upon by Rizwan.
All told, it was a sorry display with the bat from Zimbabwe. After a smart start that saw them rack up 21 runs in the first two, they began to fade, and once the wickets started to fall, the run rate began to fall as well. The middle order, traditionally Zimbabwe's strength, capitulated in the face of a sparkling bowling performance, nos. 3 to 7 managing a mere 27 runs between them. It was left to a wagging tail to get Zimbabwe past 120, with Donald Tiripano's spirited 28 combining with Wellington Masakadza for a 33-run eighth-wicket partnership, the highest of the innings.
Babar Azam might have fancied his chances of scoring a fifth straight half-century this white-ball series, but instead selflessly decided to promote Shafique up the order to open with Fakhar Zaman. While Zaman didn't quite get the runs he so desperately needs in international cricket - he was dropped once and managed just 21 off 24 balls - Shafique showed more promise. Alongside Haider Ali's whose swashbuckling style is already becoming something of a trademark, he broke the back of the target with a sharp 40-run partnership. Zimbabwe failed to create any real chances that might have allowed them to have a crack at the lower-middle order, and even when Shumba got Ali to nick off, Shah was sent in ahead of the Pakistan captain.
Pakistan fans were offered a glimpse into the type of power-hitting he might have to offer lower down the order, as he made a blistering cameo that drew the curtains on Zimbabwe's tour in frighteningly quick time. Three fours and as many towering sixes in a 15-ball knock saw him rattle along to 36, and when he smashed Faraz Akram over cow corner, he sealed a 3-0 sweep.
Pakistan may have faded somewhat in this format over the past year or so, but with a new generation of talent, they may now feel they stand in good stead ahead of next year's T20 World Cup. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, will be left to rue a series that takes the shine somewhat off a stellar ODI series.
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000