The South African - the SPL’s leading runscorer in 2022 - powered his way to 168 in a Division 2 game at Hartley Wintney.
It was the highest individual knock across the four SPL divisions for three years. But it was only good enough to earn him 30th place in the list of highest innings since the turn of the millennium.
Indeed, De Villiers would almost have had to DOUBLE his 168 to knock David Taylor off top spot in the chart!
Back in 2012, Taylor - who played first class cricket for Worcestershire and Derbyshire in the noughties - blazed his way to a staggering 330 not out for Totton & Elings 2nds against Trojans.
Taylor smashed 31 sixes and 19 fours off only 160 balls as Totton posted 412-3. In reply, shellshocked Trojans crashed to 17-6, but recovered to 103 all out.
At the time, it was believed Taylor’s 330 was the highest individual score in English 50-over cricket, although it may have been beaten abroad.
Overseas players occupy the next four slots in the list, with South African Will Prozesky featuring twice (he has four innings in the top 30 in all).
Prozesky blasted 223 in his first game for Purbrook in June 2005 after rejoining the club following a spell with Havant. The previous summer, he had struck 214 not out against Leckford.
Separating those two double tons is Australian batter Caine Barnes’ 216 not out for Hartley Wintney in 2004. That was one run more than fellow Aussie Brian Clemow managed during his season with Lymington in 2001.
The only other player with a double ton in the 21st century is ex-Hampshire 2nd XI batter Charles Forward. Playing for OTs & Romsey in 2002 - the year he made a List A appearance for the Hampshire Cricket Board - he struck 200 not out.
Another of Hartley Wintney’s Australian recruits, Adam Bull, was near to a double ton in 2008 - smacking an unbeaten 198 against Fareham & Crofton.
Waterlooville’s Sam Williams is eighth on the list with his spectacular 190 against Totton & Eling 2nds seven years ago. His second highest SPL score remains 78.
Top 30 Southern Premier League innings (2000-2022)
330* - David Taylor, Totton & Eling 2nds v Trojans, 2012
223 - Will Prozesky, Purbrook v Paultons, 2005
216* - Caine Barnes Hartley Wintney v South Wilts, 2004
214* - Will Prozesky, Purbrook v Leckford, 2004
213* - Brian Clemow Lymington, v Cove, 2001
200* - Charles Forward, OTs & Romsey v Sparsholt, 2002
198* - Adam Bull, Hartley Wintney v Fareham & Crofton, 2008
190 - Sam Williams, Waterlooville v Totton & Eling 2nds, 2015
187 - Azimunnoor Chowdhury, Burridge v Rowledge, 2013
185* - Joe Cranch, South Wilts 2nds v Langley Manor, 2019
184* - Dominic Ridley, Liphook v Andover, 2005
182 - Andrew Sexton, Bashley v Andover, 2001
180* - Connor Browne, Langley Manor v Totton & Eling 2nds, 2014
180* - Will Prozesky, Purbrook v Hartley Wintney, 2005
179 - Richard Morris, Bashley v St Cross, 2014
177 - Will Prozesky, Andover v Rowledge, 2010
176* - Dan Peacock, Lymington v Old Basing, 2001
176 - Neal Parlane, Totton & Eling v Hampshire Academy, 2004
175 - Jake George, Ventnor v Hampshire Academy, 2014
174* - Oliver Mills, Ventnor v Bournemouth, 2012
173* - Andy Perry, Havant v Burridge, 2001
172* - Benny Howell, Hampshire Academy v Hursley Park, 2007
171 - Malcolm Lake, Lymington v New Milton (on debut), 2017
170* - Russell Rowe, South Wilts v Liphook, 2001
170* - Mark Thorne, Fair Oak v Calmore, 2011
170 - Farhan Bashir, Easton & Martyr Worthy v Portsmouth & Southsea, 2010
170 - Alex Styles, Burridge v Paultons, 2012
169 - David Wheeler, New Milton v Hook & Newnham Basics, 2010
168* - Cameron Merchant, Havant v Hursley Park, 2006
168 - Matt De Villiers, Hambledon v Hartley Wintney, 2022
*There were only two double centuries scored in the Southern League in the 20th century.
The first came in 1982 - 13 years after the league was formed - when Trojans’ Robin Smith struck 200 against Petersfield.
That was the same year that Smith made his Hampshire first class debut, in a game against Pakistan.
Smith’s innings was beaten just two years later when Mel Hussain - elder brother of ex-England skipper Nasser - hit 205 playing for Hythe & Dibden against Southampton University.
The nearest anyone came to a double ton, prior to Clemow achieving the feat in 2001, was Jonathan Ayling.
The Hampshire all-rounder struck an unbeaten 182 playing for home town club Portsmouth against Andover in 1993.