Nottingham - Spin again proved England's undoing as they were dismissed for a seemingly below par 227 by India in the third one-day international at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
England, 1-0 down in the five-match series, were 82 without loss thanks to under-fire captain Alastair Cook (44) and Alex Hales (42).
But, as happened in their 133-run defeat by world champions India in Cardiff on Wednesday, they again succumbed to spin, losing three wickets for 15 runs in six overs to be 97 for three.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin led India's attack with three for 39 in his maximum 10 overs, with only Jos Buttler (42), apart from Cook and Hales, passing 40.
England managed just one four in 26 overs midway through their innings and didn't hit a six until the last over when tailender James Tredwell, who made 30 off balls, lofted Bhuvneshwar Kumar over long-on.
After losing the toss, England made an uncertain start before scoring 13 runs in a sixth over which Hales, on his Nottinghamshire home ground, finished by driving Mohit Sharma for two fours through extra-cover off successive balls.
Cook and Hales posted their second fifty partnership, off 64 balls, in as many matches.
But a stand of 82 ended when Hales top-edged a sweep off spin-bowling all-rounder Suresh Raina's sixth ball onto his pad and was caught by wicketkeeper Dhoni for 42.
It was the second time in as many matches that Hales, who made 40 on ODI debut in Cardiff, had fallen to the sweep shot.
His exit was the cue for England to once more get bogged down against slow bowling.
Occasional spinner Ambati Rayudu - only playing in this match because of a series-ending injury to Rohit Sharma and possibly only bowling because Mohit Sharma was off the field with a leg injury - took his first international wicket when he speared one down the legside to have Cook stumped by Dhoni.
Cook, whom former England team-mate Graeme Swann suggested this week should quit one-day cricket because he scores too slowly, took 65 balls to get his runs on Saturday.
Dhoni was involved again when he stumped Joe Root (two) after the batsman lunged forward and missed left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja's fourth ball.
Eoin Morgan (10) was also undone by spin, Ashwin turning the ball away from the left-hander and Dhoni holding the edge to complete his fourth dismissal of the innings.
A disbelieving Ian Bell (28) was then run out by the fit-again Mohit Sharma's direct hit from wide long-off.
All-rounder Ben Stokes (two) added to his growing list of low scores for England when Raina held a brilliant low, one-handed, slip catch off Ashwin.
Stokes's exit left England 149 for six, with the five-over batting powerplay yielding just 12 runs - all singles - for one wicket.