The visitors were expected to crush what was effectively a third-string WA side in the two-day match at the WACA Ground.
England performed well with the bat, registering 349 on the opening day for the loss of only four wickets, with two other batsmen retiring.
But they struggled to back it up with the ball. At one point, the WA XI side cruised to 1-125 on the back of Josh Philippe’s blistering 88 off 92 balls.
The WA side were eventually bowled out for 338, with pace ace Stuart Broad (1-64 off 13 overs) one of the England big guns to struggle.
Fellow seamer Chris Woakes (0-53) also looked scratchy, with Anderson (4-27) the only bowler to really impress yesterday.
England have two four-day tour matches coming up before the Test series begins at the Gabba on November 23.
Anderson wasn’t worried about the bowling unit’s lacklustre display in Perth.
“It’s only a week since we got off the plane,” Anderson said.
“There’s still a few guys adjusting to sleep patterns and things like that, getting over jetlag.
“It was our first day in the field. There’s going to be guys more rusty than others.
“I thought Broady bowled a really good spell with the (second) new ball at the back-end there.
“The rustiness in the first session was pretty obvious (for everyone).
“But it’s great to get out there and get that match situation. I thought we did as well as we could.”
England fly to Adelaide today in preparation for the four-day, pink-ball clash with a Cricket Australia XI, starting Wednesday.
Opener Alastair Cook (0) and skipper Joe Root (9) will be aiming to spend bulk time in the middle after getting out cheaply in Perth.
Paceman Steven Finn (jarred left knee) and allrounder Moeen Ali (side strain) have already been ruled out of the day-night tour match while they recover from their injuries.
Australia will enter the Ashes series as warm favourites, especially if suspended England allrounder Ben Stokes doesn’t play a part.
But Anderson, who is England’s leading Test wicket-taker with 506 scalps, believes the contest will be closer than what most people think.
“On paper, it looks very even at the moment,” Anderson said.
“But it all depends which team adjusts to the situation the best, deals with the pressure in that first match, deals with the conditions.”
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