Australia's 328 for 7 against India in the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday was the highest target ever in a World Cup semifinal.  But the Indian team seemed capable of chasing it down. At least in the beginning.  At least in the first few overs.  At least till the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was at the crease.  But in the end, it proved to be 95 runs too many,  as the Indian innings painfully came to an end at 233, with 19 balls still to go.

O captain, our captain

While Dhoni provided hope in a hopeless situation, it seemed too little, too late.  Despite two successive sixes, even before he was run out with a patient 65 in 65 balls, leaving India at 231 for 7 in the 45th over, it was clear that the Indian campaign was over.

In addition to the heartbreak of the loss, there seemed added poignancy in the realisation that the Indian captain may have played the last World Cup match of his illustrious career, and speculation mounted that Dhoni might call it a day from One Day Internationals as well, once the match got over. But he put all such talk to rest in the presentation ceremony, even keeping alive the hope of his fans for World Cup 2019.

Before that, though, there were reality checks.

The shame

While the nation, so to speak, was still coming to terms with all this, the self-appointed spokesperson for the nation's conscience decided to give utterance to what it called was the voice of the billion people and started a hashtag called #ShamedinSydney.

While the captain was still addressing the post-match press-conference, the channel set the tone for what it thought was wrong: "He could've said this is the worst day of my life."

So-called experts were soon frothing at the mouth, remembering the vice-captain's role as well: "With the platform set for him did Virat Kohli need a rush of blood?"

All this while, the ticker went crazy with lines like:  "Team India Let Down Billion People" and  "India Thrashed and Sent Packing".

As more bile was spewed out, in what was clearly a scripted show, the disgust on Twitter was spontaneous.

Pretty soon, though, instead of #ShameinSydney, what was trending on Twitter was #ShameonTimesNow

The lost match

Let's not forget though that India's hopes of making a match of it were kept alive in the first few overs, and India seemed almost capable till the 13th over when Shikhar Dhawan got out for 45, leaving India at 76 for 1, but received a huge set back once Virat Kohli got out for 1. India were suddenly 78 for 2 in the 16th over.

That's when the countdown started, as some agitated fans blamed his girlfriend Anushka Sharma, who was present in the stadium, for his dismal performance.  Soon, the hashtags changed from #WontGiveItBack to #TakeItBack and even #WeAreHandingItAwayOnASilverPlatter as the inevitability of the defeat began to sink in and fans found refuge in humour to cope with the sense of loss, trying to laugh it away in silly tweets.  Here’s a selection.

















Captain cool

Before that, despite the loss, the day belonged to Mahendra Singh Dhoni as fans raved over his standing tall among ruins.



Much before that, though, almost everyone joined in, even politicians.