IT was an over which matched yesterday's weather - dismal. The poor bowler was Hong Kong's Salim Malik, who in that one over managed to run through the entire coaching manual of what not to do while bowling. No-balls, wides, full tosses, beamers . . . all fell from his hand like confetti at a wedding. The honeymoon had ended for Hong Kong. Malik's over cost 36 runs - the most expensive yesterday, but it was manna for the Indian batsmen. One of the most talented players on the local scene, Malik was the villain of the piece yesterday. Chasing a target of 77, India's batsmen set up an emphatic, three-wicket win with an over to spare - and in sixes cricket, winning with six balls to spare is like scoring an innings win in a Test match. 'I just could not grip the ball. It was very slippery,' said a distraught Malik afterwards. Hong Kong, who were grouped with India and Pakistan, were perhaps confident of registering a win. They have done so in past years against these opponents. But their hopes were crushed, first by Pakistan, who won by six wickets, then India. Against Pakistan, the territory failed to put a decent score together, scraping a sorry 59. Against India, the territory fared marginally better with the bat; Rodney Bannister, who was left out of the first game, recorded the top score with an unbeaten 34. The target looked imposing by the end of the third over, with India having reached 42 for the loss of Atul Wassan's wicket. Atul was caught by Rahul Sharma at the point boundary off the bowling of Stewart Brew, the pick of the Hong Kong bowlers, if not the tournament, yesterday. Skipper Pat Fordham then threw the ball to Malik for the fourth over of the innings. India needed 36 to win off two overs, and sadly for the territory all those runs were scored in Malik's over. Four full tosses saw the ball duly hit for four sixes. A couple of wides were thrown in. The ball slipped out his hand twice. Poor Malik must have wanted the nightmare to end. 'I told him to relax but it didn't work. The ball was slippery and it got harder to bowl as the match went on,' said Fordham afterwards, having cooled down after stalking off the pitch immediately after the match. Fordham added: 'I thought we were in with a good chance, although we could have done with a few more runs.' While Malik must bear the brunt of Hong Kong's failure to make it into the first round of the Cup competition (in the Bradman and Sobers Groups), the territory's batsmen must also share the blame for failing to set challenging totals.