England batted first and were indebted to captain Charlotte Edwards who scored a patient 57 not out from 112 balls as the tourists posted 152 for nine.
Having lost Ebony Rainford-Brent and Jenny Gunn, the latter unlucky to be run-out at the non-striker's end after Amita Sharma got a hand on a Caroline Atkins drive, Edwards began rebuilding the innings.
She put on 39 with Atkins and 37 with Beth Morgan as England made slow progress on a turning wicket. Danielle Hazell, in her first game of the tour, came in at 111 for six and struck three boundaries to give the innings some needed impetus.
With England needing quick wickets, Katherine Brunt gave England hope when she trapped Anjum Chopra leg before with just five runs on the board.
The wicket brought the prolific Mithali Raj to the crease and England's failure to displace her proved costly.
She struck 13 boundaries in her unbeaten 84 which was the backbone of India's successful chase.
England had grounds for optimism when India slipped to 59 for three after Gunn ran out Poonam Raut and Laura Marsh bowled Priyanka Roy. But they managed to pick up just two more wickets, Edwards and Gunn the successful bowlers, and will travel to Mumbai hoping to avoid a 4-1 series loss.
After the game Charlotte Edwards said: ‘We just didn’t get enough runs again, it seems to be the story of the series. Mithali (Raj) has been like a thorn in my side.
We needed to take early wickets and remove her (Raj) and we didn’t. Ultimately we are not getting enough runs and that’s what is going wrong at the moment.
Our fielding has been world class throughout this trip, the girls gave 110% and took India right to the line again, but if you don’t put enough runs on the ball your fielding means nothing. If we could get 30 or 40 more runs there would be a really good game of cricket out there, hopefully we can put that right in Mumbai.’
England will play the last game of the series at the Bandra Kurla Complex on Monday 1 March.
photo Cheltenham jockey club
photo Cheltenham Racecourse