STEVE Smith’s captain’s knock and some big hitting by Australia’s lower order helped the hosts take charge of the second Test against India.

MITCHELL Starc needed to find something special to keep his place for Boxing Day and he wasn’t prepared to wait until he got the ball back in his hands to make a start.

NIC Maddinson carried his bat as Sydney Sixers eased to victory in their opening match of the Big Bash season against Melbourne Renegades.

KEVIN Muscat has taunted host City by claiming the Melbourne derby was a home game for Victory, with AAMI Park providing it with happy memories of late.

LITTLE has changed on the field for Melbourne City, but the 2014-15 version is so much more interesting and the last fortnight underlines it.

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MCC Team of the Century

The MCC Team of the Century team was announced by MCC Cricket chairman Bob Lloyd at the Members Dinner on December 1, 1999.

The club’s best 12 since 1906 were then depicted in a stunning portrait by artist Alexandra Sasse, which presides in the MCC Committee Room.

The selectors - Percy Beames, Clive Fairbairn and Lloyd - had a very difficult task, but ultimately chose a team about which few would argue:

Max Walker, Robert Templeton, Colin McDonald and Paul Sheahan with the MCC Team of the Century paintingW.H. Ponsford (Bill)
C.C. McDonald (Colin)
D.M. Jones (Dean)
H.S.T.L. Hendry (Hunter)
A.P. Sheahan (Paul)
W.W. Armstrong (Warwick) (capt)
H. Trumble (Hugh)
R.I. Templeton (Robert)
M.N.H. Walker (Max)
H.I. Ebeling (Hans)
H. Ironmonger (Bert)
V.S. Ransford (Vernon) (12th man)

Qualifications were that players had to be chosen from 1906-07 (first year of the VCA), should have completed at least one season with the club but also could be chosen by another club.

Selectors were asked to provide a well-balanced combination of batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders, and to nominate the captain and twelfth man.

A summary of our selection problems from Bob Lloyd: "Difficult to overlook past players with Test records. Some obvious legends, like Ayres, Herman, McCooke, King and Daniel, couldn't be considered when comparing past records.

"Only our keeper (Templeton) hadn't played Tests. Our biggest deficiency was the lack of a true, downwind quick to take the new ball.

"We finished up going for Hans Ebeling. Ransford was unlucky to miss, given his 22 Tests. Hendry got his spot as the first-change bowler we needed for team balance.

"There's a fair range of talent from most eras, but 1940-70 is a bit light with only McDonald and Sheahan. We'd have liked to include Rigg, Darling, Fleetwood-Smith and Graeme Watson but just couldn't fit them in."