Aaron Finch shattered his own Twenty20 international world record with a ferocious onslaught as Australia thrashed Zimbabwe by 100 runs in Harare.

The Zimbabwe bowlers were unable to contain the in-form Finch, who bludgeoned an astonishing 172 from only 76 balls as Australia posted 229-2 in their second tri-series match on Tuesday.

Captain Finch eclipsed his previous world best of 156 - set against England five years ago - with a brutal display of clean striking, clearing the ropes 10 times and hitting 16 fours before missing out on bettering Chris Gayle's highest T20 score by only three runs.

Finch dominated a best-ever T20 international stand for any wicket of 223 with D'Arcy Short, who made a pedestrian 42-ball 46 in comparison to his opening partner.

Zimbabwe, missing key men due to a pay dispute, could only muster 129-9 in reply as they suffered a second defeat of the series and Australia made it two wins out of two in emphatic fashion, Andrew Tye the pick of the bowlers with 3-12.

Finch had made back-to-back T20 half-centuries following a hundred in the recent one-day international series against England and cut loose again, passing 50 again off only 22 balls - his fastest T20 fifty - when he dispatched Chris Mpofu (0-53) over midwicket for six.

The carnage continued as the destructive right-hander showed no mercy on the Zimbabwe attack, making room for himself to hammer Tendai Chisoro for another huge six over long-off before Short got in on the act with two lusty maximums off Ryan Burl.

Finch brought up an incredible century off 50 balls and the openers surpassed a record stand of 171 set by New Zealand duo Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson in January 2016 as the Zimbabwe bowlers continued to suffer.

Gayle's record look set to go when Finch - dropped by Burl on 133 - took 16 off three balls from Mpofu in the penultimate over, but he was out hit wicket dislodging the stumps while reaching for a wide ball in the final over after Short had also departed.

Zimbabwe were never in with a realistic chance of chasing down their target, Jhye Richardson and Billy Stanlake getting rid of Chamu Chibhabha (18) and Solomon Mire (28) following a promising opening stand of 42.

Tye tore through the middle order and Ashton Agar took 2-16 as Australia sealed a crushing win.