Potchesfstroom - Despite an early batting setback, Australia finished in a strong position after Day 1 of their four-day tour match against South Africa "A" at Senwes Park.Full scorecardThe SA “A” bowlers showed encouraging signs early on and at one point the visitors were 21/3 but finished strongly on 115/3 at stumps, 68 runs behind South Africa’s first innings score of 183. New Protea call-up, Vernon Philander, and Wayne Parnell gave SA “A” an exciting start in their response, picking up three of the Australian wickets in their opening spells. Philander continued with the new-ball form that earned him his national call-up, and returned figures of 2/10 in 6 overs, including the wicket of Ricky Ponting, who was trapped lbw for 2. Shaun Marsh (51 not out) and Michael Clarke (41 not out) led the Australian recovery and share an unbeaten partnership of 94 runs. Earlier, after being sent in to bowl, Australia’s fast bowlers also found favour from a greenish wicket and ran through the South Africans’ line-up, dismissing them for 183. The pace trio of Mitchell Johnson (4/38), Peter Siddle (3/16) and Shane Watson (3/32) sent an ominous message to the Proteas, after picking up all ten of the South African wickets to fall.Dean Elgar played a bold innings of 47 runs under a barrage of bouncers and unplayable deliveries from the Australians, and somewhat steadied the top order after losing captain Alviro Petersen in the second over. Partnerships were scarce in the top half of the order but the 46-run sixth wicket partnership between Thami Tsolekile (27) and Ryan McLaren (26) boosted the home team to a total that the bowlers could at least bowl to. Play will resume at 10:00 on Wednesday morning.