Thrice was he dropped after taking the second new ball on Sunday at the Ageas Bowl leaving him grumpy and bitter but held his determination strong as veteran England fast bowler drew the outside edge of No.11 Naseem Shah to pick his 29th five-wicket haul in his illustrious Test career.
With the new ball late on Saturday evening, after England piled up a monumental 583 for eight, Anderson snuck three wickets, running through the top-order lineup of Pakistan. On Sunday morning, he started off from where he had finished, removing Asad Shafiq early to inch closer to his record 600th Test wicket.
Anderson continued throughout the afternoon and then the evening with the same amount resilience, but was left bitterly unlucky as England's slip cordon left the veteran pacer was left miffed after Rory Burns dropped twice, Zak Crawley and Stuart Broad once. But Anderson eventually picked that final wicket of his five-wicket haul, drawing the outsider edge of Naseem's bat which Dom Sibley comfortably took at first slip.
This was Anderson's 29th Test fi-fer and drew level with Australian legend Glenn McGrath. He now stands only second behind New Zealand great Richard Hadlee in terms of most five-wicket haul by a pacer. The latter had 36 Test fi-fers to is name. Overall, Anderson stands joint sixth behind Muttiah Muralitharan (67), Shane Warne (37), Hadlee, Anil Kumble (35), Rangana Herath (34).
The five-wicket haul also took his career Test wicket tally to 598 as he now stands only two wickets shy of becoming the first pacer to take 600 wickets in the history of the format. Overall, he will be the fourth bowler to the milestone after Muralitharan (800 wickets), Warner (708 wickets) and Kumble (619 wickets).
The five-wicket haul helped England fold Pakistan for 273 despite captain Azhar Ali's gritty 141*, his highest score since his knock of 205 in December 2016. England, who still lead Pakistan by 310 runs, have enforced a follow-on.