Having won the previous three games at a canter, England would have been the odds-on favourites to chase a modest target of 91 in 23 overs. An economical spell from fast bowler Jhulan Goswami nearly choked the hosts, but Claire Taylor showed her experience to lead her side home with five balls to spare.
The Twenty20 game between the two sides in Taunton had been washed out, and Sunday's 50-over contest at Arundel was reduced with play starting at only 3.45pm. India began steadily after being put in, with the openers adding 27. Despite Jaya Sharma's dismissal, the visitors seemed to be going along smoothly before they came up against Holly Colvin's left-arm spin.
Colvin took three vital top-order wickets, including those of Sulakshana Naik, who had anchored the innings till then and Mithali Raj, who had scored fifties in the previous two games, to derail the Indian innings. The remaining batsmen panicked in the hunt for quick runs - the other three wickets in the innings were run-outs.
Defending 90, India removed the openers early to reduce England to 14 for 2. Taylor and Charlotte Edwards, two of England's senior-most players, took the score to 60, but the required run-rate was climbing. Medium-pacer Sunetra Paranjpe conceded just 17 off five overs, backing up Goswami's 1 for 8.
Taylor, though, scored at a brisk pace - her 56 came at a strike-rate over 80, and took England past the line along with Lydia Greenway (12) to keep their chances of a series whitewash alive.