DUBAI - If Wednesday set the tone for this four-match, two-country mini-series then we don't have much to look forward to in the next week. It was as one-sided an affair as you can get in the shortest format and both teams will hope for something more competitive as the UAE leg of their contest comes to an end.

It will be up to Pakistan to make it more of a duel. Their batting collapses have become the source of serious concern as poor shot selection and lack of application continues to haunt them. They need someone to bat through, another few to bat with him, partnerships to form and more resistance put up. In short, they need more dedication and more fight. South Africa's bowlers have hardly been challenged so far and it would make a welcome change if they were. Their batting has improved consistently through the ODIs and although they didn't have to do much beyond the formalities on Wednesday, they will want to assert themselves even further before heading home, where batting is likely to be more difficult.

Shoaib Malik spent 35 minutes at the crease - the second-longest stint of any Pakistan batsmen - faced 23 balls but only had 12 runs to show for it. He demonstrated the right mindset in wanting to give himself a little bit of time to settle in but the wrong intent when he grew so frustrated that he fell into the trap of chasing a wide ball and being stumped. If he can avoid making a similar error, Malik is the likeliest candidate to take responsibility in the Pakistan line-up, a quality they certainly need.

He does not have the aggression and pace of Dale Steyn but Lonwabo Tsotsobe has played an equally important role with the new ball. In conditions where he has found some swing and bounce, Tsotsobe has been a perfect partner to Steyn. After concerns over his fitness in Sri Lanka, he has come back committed and performing well. He dedicated his showing on Wednesday night to his father and brother - incidentally it was their birthday although the former has passed - and said he wants to follow up with something just as special in the final match. Neither Ahmed Shehzad nor Sohaib Maqsood was successful at the top of the order so M Hafeez may consider returning there despite the prospect of having to face Steyn early on. Nasir Jamshed may also come into contention if Maqsood is dropped. The middle order should remain the same but Abdur Rehman could find himself out of the XI. Mohammad Irfan is due a break and may make way for Junaid Khan.

PAKISTAN (likely): M Hafeez (capt), Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, M Irfan.

SOUTH AFRICA (likely): Henry Davids, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (capt), AB de Villiers, David Wiese, David Miller, Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso.