In their run chase of 152, India's batters needed a cautious approach and that is what Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma did, seeing off Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Lauren Bell's first overs.
Despite connecting the ball off the middle of the bat on multiple occasions, Mandhana was unable to breach the off-side field.
She did manage one off the back foot scoring her first boundary off Sciver-Brunt's first ball of the second over, which she followed up with a straight drive and a pull shot front of square for fours in consecutive deliveries.
Nat-Sciver's same over turned into a nightmare as she conceded a fourth boundary, a gift, which Mandhana gracefully accepted and dispatched, this time behind square, to the fine leg boundary.
Shafali (8) got a lifeline, but was dismissed in the same over by Bell Sciver-Brunt completing the catch.
Mandhana, however, determined to put the new bowler Charlie Dean under pressure immediately, hit her for a four over mid-on.
With the bowlers not offering much room, the flow of runs stopped temporarily, but Mandana and Jemimah Rodrigues rotated the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Sophia Dunkley made a mess of an opportunity, a skier from Mandhana, off Sarah Glenn's second ball when she was batting on 28. India's fifty came off 8 overs.
The first ball of the 10th over from Glenn saw Rodrigues (13) trying to hit one over long-on, only hitting it right down Sciver-Brunt's throat for her second catch of the innings.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who had joined Mandhana, departed early scoring 4 off 6 balls after a mishit off Sophie Ecclestone with Alice Capsey making no mistake.
India's welcome boundary came after a span of 44 balls when Richa Ghosh dispatched one at fine leg, which was followed by another four at square leg.
Mandhana, who was kept off strike for a while, hit a much-needed boundary and then one more off Charlie Dean reducing India's deficit.
India now looking at a mountain to climb, the heavens momentarily opened up as it started to drizzle, but not enough for the match to be stopped.
Lagging behind in DRS score, Ghosh and Mandhana took the attack to Glenn, the latter bringing her fifty off a six over covers.
The very next ball Mandhana (52) tried to hit one over mid-on but it went into the hands of Nat Sciver-Brunt, India now needing 47 runs off the last four overs.
With the Women in Blue needing 15 runs in an over, the pressure was starting to build. England bowlers, on the other hand, kept it tight adding to the misery of the batters.
Richa did hit a six to take the pressure off, but it was followed by two dot balls from Bell leaving India needing 34 runs from the last two overs.
Deepti Sharma, who had a tough day with the bat scoring 7 from 9 balls, was run out while taking a second run off a misfield by Nat Sciver-Brunt.
With India needing 31 runs off the last over, England looked like keeping their record of not losing to this opposition in World Cups intact.
Richa started the last over with a four and a second one, this time off a no ball, India now needing 22 runs off 5 deliveries.
India's collapse in the middle overs cost them the match, as Richa's 47 off 34 was not enough to give them a win.