Life went on as usual yesterday. The unpredictable Hong Kong weather had another massive mood swing - from dismal to sunny. The Australian cricket team continued to win. The Waugh brothers continued to savage the world's bowlers. And Australian captain Mark Taylor's form slump went on. Yes, nothing much had changed when Hong Kong's brief flirtation with international cricket came to a successful close at the Kowloon Cricket Club. The end of the 40-over game was greeted with relief all round. The Australians, bound for the Ashes series in England, were happy not so much with winning, but that they had seen the day through without injury. And organisers heaved a huge sigh of relief that the match - shortened by five overs owing to a delayed start - was completed. Australia's cameo appearance was widely declared a resounding success. Even Governor Chris Patten, a devout cricket fan, got into the act. Witnessing his last cricket game in Hong Kong, Patten said the sport in the territory had matured a lot in the time he had been here. 'From Sixes to an occasion like this . . . I'm sure cricket will continue to be a great spectacle in Hong Kong after July,' said Patten. With a finger on the pulse of the game, or being the master politician he is, Patten then declared: 'After watching the Australians today, I believe they will be hard to beat in the Ashes.' Not a foolhardy prediction, and one which the 2,500 spectators at the KCC might have readily agreed with, as they watched the Australian batsmen speed to 248 for six in the 29th over to complete a four-wicket victory. Two Indians, former Test star Sanjay Manjrekar and another who is tipped as a player of the future, Rohan Gavaskar, were the lynchpins of the Rest of the World's innings of 245 for eight. None of the Australian bowlers, Shane Warne included, really stood out. The pacemen bowled off short run-ups owing to a slippery surface, while Warne's spinning fingers hardly had time to warm up, with each bowler allowed only eight overs. The classy Manjrekar hit 80, while left-hander Gavaskar showed he can accumulate runs much faster than his illustrious father Sunil did, hitting 51 in a mere 30 deliveries. But their efforts paled when the Australians went in to bat. Twins Mark and Steve Waugh started Australia's run avalanche. The runs flowed off their broad bats as they made full use of the tiny boundaries at the KCC. Mark hammered 116 off only 66 balls. It was a spectacular innings containing a mixture of elegant strokes and improvised shot-making all round the wicket. Mark, slightly the taller, hit nine sixes and 11 fours in his belligerent knock. Some of his hits over the ropes were majestic. One landed in the KCC swimming pool, while another interrupted a women's lawn bowls game on the adjoining green. His audacious strokeplay, which saw him win the man-of-the-match award, was mirrored by his brother Steve, who, on many occasions, made room for himself by moving down the legside before hoisting the ball over the cover boundary. It was batsmanship of a calibre not seen for a long time in Hong Kong. While the Waughs enjoyed the freedom of the small KCC confines - between them they plundered 13 of the 17 sixes of the Australian innings - their captain continued to wallow in despair. Taylor was out caught behind by Patrick Fordham after taking a wild swing at Pakistani paceman Moshin Kamal in the second over. Showing signs of a batsman not at ease at the wicket, Taylor stood his ground before umpire Bob Fotheringham raised his finger to send him on his disconsolate way. Taylor later put on a brave face. 'Four runs is not a great knock. But the tour of England starts on Thursday . . . today's game has no bearing on England,' he said. Taylor received support from Mark Waugh, who said: 'It does not matter making runs here. What matters is making runs in England.' It is fine for Mark Waugh to say that. After all he had just scored a century and is in prime batting form. Australia left last night for England as favourites to win the six-Test Ashes series. Nothing had changed.