Anderson took six for for 47 as Australia slumped to 136 all out inside 37 overs after winning the toss and batting in the overcast conditions that the Lancastrian has relished throughout his career.
At stumps, England were three runs adrift of Australia at 133 for three. Joe Root, who hooked fast bowler Mitchell Johnson for a fortunate six was 30 not out and recalled Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow one not out.
The under pressure Ian Bell had made a fluent 53 before giving his wicket away with a rash shot against off-spinner Nathan Lyon, whose two for three in two overs helped Australia limit the damage.
Earlier, Australia were indebted to opener Chris Rogers's 52, with their next best score Adam Voges's 16. This was Rogers's ninth fifty in 11 Test innings and came after he was cleared to play following a balance problem in the inner ear.
It also proved the value of the 37-year-old Rogers's experience of seaming conditions gained during several seasons in county cricket.


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