The in-form Ahmed Shehzad made 54 and Misbah-ul-Haq's pedestrian start bloomed into a well-judged 67, while Tendai Chatara took three for 48.
With Zimbabwe having taken the field despite ongoing reports of payment issues, there was enough to distract the home side without Pakistan posting their best opening stand of the series.
Nasir Jamshed and Shehzad made it to 66, with the former occasionally troubled by some lively deliveries from Shingi Masakadza.
He would ultimately depart for 38, pushing at a Chatara delivery and feathering it behind.
That brought Mohammed Hafeez to the crease fresh from scores of 136 not out and 70 in the series but he pulled a hamstring on 12 and limped off, bringing his Test series participation into question.
Shehzad made it to his half-century but perished at the hands of Hamilton Masakadza, while Umar Amin hit 33 from 25 balls before offering Prosper Utseya a caught-and-bowled (33).
Chatara then nipped any possible Shahid Afridi counter-attack in the bud as he snared him via an edge behind on seven but Misbah, who had taken 12 balls to get off the mark and was five not out from 28, finally accelerated in company with Sarfraz Ahmed.
The latter hit 22 from 13 balls as the 46th and 47th overs each went for 14. His departure saw Hafeez return and though Misbah fell with two balls remaining, Pakistan reached 260 with Hafeez finishing 26 not out.