Something From The Weekend: Malinga beats Sehwag, again; West Ham at the Reebok; Corluka loses it

The Good, The Bad and the Odd
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The Independent Online

The Good

Malinga beats Sehwag, again

Bowling to Virender Sehwag in limited-overs cricket is like trying to swim up a waterfall. In the IPL, constructed as a platform for Sehwag's ferocious talent as much as anything else, it is even more futile than that. So praise ought to go to Lasith Malinga for an extraordinary achievement yesterday. He bowled Sehwag a maiden over, the first time the great batsman had suffered the ignominy for 10 years. Malinga went on to take five wickets for 13 runs, as his Mumbai Indians ran through Delhi Daredevils with an enjoyable contempt. It is not Malinga's first triumph over Sehwag: he dismissed him with the second ball of India's innings in the World Cup final just last week. He is quite a bunny to have.

The Bad

West Ham at the Reebok

Deciding against playing at Old Trafford is part of the routine for many Premier League clubs. Even teams with the stature and self-respect of Tottenham and Everton fold there with all the deflating predictability of Arsenal when flirting with a trophy. To be utterly devoid of the competitive spirit at the Reebok Stadium, though, is something quite different. West Ham lost their eighth straight league game at Bolton on Saturday, and never looked like they had entertained the possibility of anything different. The last time they managed even a draw in the league at Bolton was February 1998, when John Hartson was sent off, Trevor Sinclair scored and Nathan Blake equalised. Their last win in Bolton? 3-0 at Burnden Park in October 1997.

The Odd

Corluka loses it

The strangest thing to happen at White Hart Lane on Saturday was not Peter Crouch scoring twice in the Premier League but, rather, the sight of Vedran Corluka angrily confronting a supporter after the final whistle. As anyone who has seen him play knows, Corluka's style is an ironic and affected diffidence. His entering the realm of Craig Bellamy or Jamie Carragher is horribly discordant. Corluka is another in the great line of Tottenham players who labour under the suspicion that they they would be more in tune with themselves as poets or playwrights than as footballers – none more so than Dimitar Berbatov. What would he have made of Corluka's snarling betrayal of this grand Tottenham tradition?

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