It is one thing for an Associate team to want more frequent matches against Full Member teams. It is entirely another for an Associate team to say they will beat those Full Members "very easily" if they get that kind of exposure.

That is what Asghar Stanikzai said, on the eve of Afghanistan's World T20 match against West Indies: "In the next one or two years we will be a serious team and beat these Full Members very easily, as we have potential."

The Afghanistan captain spoke in Pashto, and something may have been lost or gained in team manager Sher Agha Hamkar's translation, but "beat these Full Members very easily" are the words future cricket historians will unearth when they pore through the English-language cricket pages of 2016.

"What audacity," they will think to themselves. "What chutzpah."

There was plenty of chutzpah on Sunday too, whenever Afghanistan picked up a West Indies wicket. When Evin Lewis miscued a slog-sweep and holed out at deep midwicket, the bowler, Amir Hamza, broke into a jig. It wasn't just any jig. It was a step from a music video performed by a player from the opposition team, Dwayne Bravo. A music video titled "Champion", no less.

It was a bit of a taunt. It would have taken chutzpah to do this even if Afghanistan were in a winning position; Hamza did it when West Indies were 17 for 1 chasing 124.

The "Champion" jig resurfaced when Mohammad Shahzad stumped Denesh Ramdin off Rashid Khan, the portly wicketkeeper performing it rather more flamboyantly than the slightly built legspinner, with vigorous hip thrusts complementing the pumping of the arms.

By then West Indies were in serious trouble, against a quartet of spinners getting the ball to stop, grip and turn off a sluggish pitch, and daring them to take on the long boundaries. Stanikzai had predicted on the eve of the match that the slow pitch and long boundaries would make it hard for West Indies to play big shots against his spinners. It had taken chutzpah to say that as well.

Not long after Afghanistan had wrapped up a six-run win, Mohammad Nabi logged on to Twitter. Other cricketers in his situation might have used this moment simply to express their delight, or to talk about history being made - Afghanistan had beaten a Full Member side other than Bangladesh or Zimbabwe for the first time - or to reiterate the need for more matches against the top sides.

Nabi, instead, said this: "I think so we have had enough of winning the hearts of cricket fans so this time we won the match."

In that one tweet, Nabi seemed to list everything Afghanistan were tired of. Tired of being patronised. Tired of being praised for their spirit, their fearlessness, their potential, and their personalities. Tired of being praised for all those things when they were losing games. Tired of everyone else thinking they were doing well to run big teams close while they themselves believed they could do better and beat those big teams.

Only time will tell whether Afghanistan will continue to back their belief with performances like this one. But the belief is real, and is fuelled by confidence in their own ability.

Najibullah Zadran, whose unbeaten 40-ball 48 injected momentum into a laborious Afghanistan innings, had shown this belief even against Sri Lanka. Then, walking in at No. 9 with only three balls left in the innings, he lofted the first two balls he faced nonchalantly over extra cover, for six and four.

Here, it was Rashid's turn to walk in at No. 9 and hit the first ball he faced for six. It wasn't unexpected, because he has talent with the bat, and his self-belief is always evident when he bowls his legbreaks and googlies, a teenager varying his pace and trajectory like an international veteran.

Hamza, the first Afghan player to perform the "Champion" jig, came into this match having bowled the game-changing over against England. That over went for 25 runs, and turned the match England's way. Fresh from bowling that over, Hamza took the new ball, bowled three of his four overs in the Powerplay, and finished with figures of 4-0-9-1.

Through the tournament, Afghanistan's self-belief has been evident in their selections. Until recently, fast bowling was reckoned to be their biggest strength, and Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran and Dawlat Zadran were among their biggest household names. But given slow, low, spinning conditions, they had no qualms in picking only one of the three in most of their games. They had faith in the spin of Rashid, Hamza, Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari.

And by picking only one specialist quick and loading their side with allrounders, Afghanistan were lengthening their batting order. It was a compromise, but the batting depth allowed them to recover from a mini-collapse against Zimbabwe and a poor start against Sri Lanka, to keep punching in a steep chase against South Africa and to stay in the game and post a defendable total against West Indies.

At 6.20pm, when Afghanistan had completed their successful defence of 123, the West Indies players walked onto the field to congratulate them. There was just about time for a final act of chutzpah. Shaking hands with Chris Gayle, who had been rested for this game, Shahzad requested he pose for selfies with the winning team. He agreed to do this. When all the Afghanistan players had assembled around him, it was left to Gayle to hold the selfie stick.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo