Australia ended on 307-4, with Shane Watson playing a crucial role as he made an impressive 176, to frustrate Alastair Cook’s side at The Oval.
Despite the home bowlers toiling on a flat pitch and seeing the tourists bat themselves into a strong position, it was a positive performance for the 31-year-old as he brought up a personal milestone, with a pair of wickets.
This meant that he has now taken 326 Test match scalps – ahead of Bob Willis and only behind Sir Ian Botham on the country’s all-time list.
Although the Lancashire player recognised that the tourists were dominant, he insisted it wasn’t all negatives for the hosts.
“We had some good patches of pressure. Watson would have gone earlier, but for the drop,” said Anderson.
“There were a few LBW’s which could have gone our way on a different day but we stuck at it as best as we could.
“We would have liked another one with the new ball tonight if we’re being greedy, but we can come back tomorrow with a reasonably new ball and try and make inroads in the morning.”