With this 76-ball innings, which saw him score as many as 16 fours and 10 sixes, Finch broke a plethora of records.
With a mountain to climb, Zimbabwe openers, Chamu Chibhabha and Solomon Mire started cautiously and put on a stand of 42.
Australia posted 2-229 from its 20 overs, and Zimbabwe was restricted to 9-129 in reply.
Finch and Short put on 223 for the first wicket, which topped Williamson and Guptill's previous highest T20 global partnership for any wicket of 171 (unbroken) against Pakistan in Hamilton in January 2016. Shane Watson was the first when he scored fifties in three consecutive T20I innings in 2011-2012. However, Finch missed out by 4 runs in becoming the highest run scorer in the shortest format.
Australia reached 229 for two, the highest total ever scored against Zimbabwe in a T20 worldwide as a slew of records were broken during Australia's 100-run victory. It was rather fitting that Finch bettered his own record of 156 runs with a six by mauling Chris Mpofu over extra cover.
Finch, meanwhile, brought up his second T20I hundred at the end of the 14th over, taking just 50 deliveries.
Finch's 172 left him three short of Chris Gayle's highest-ever T20 innings which he made for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League five years ago, against a Pune Warriors side captained by Finch.
Finch said of his display: 'Feeling good. It's coming on the bat quite nicely. "The wicket played a lot better than we thought (it would)".
172 - This is the highest score by any batsman in T20Is.
Behind Finch's two top scores, fellow Victorian Glenn Maxwell is next on the all-time T20I record list after he belted an unbeaten 145 against Sri Lanka in 2016.
Australia took 75 from the Powerplay, with Finch doing the bulk of the scoring while Short was content to turn the strike over to his big-hitting partner.