Chasing 195 in Mumbai, Delhi started off well as Dhawan and his ally Prithvi Shaw added 59 before the latter holed out to Chris Gayle at square leg. Steve Smith, playing his first match in Delhi colours, also perished after scoring 9 off 12 deliveries.
Dhawan, however, went on to notch up 43rd IPL half-century but missed out on a well-deserved ton. He departed after scoring 92 runs off 49 balls, laced with 13 fours and two sixes.
Skipper Rishabh Pant (15) also failed to stay until the end but Marcus Stonis (27) and Lalit Yadav (12) stuck in the middle as Delhi chased down the total with 10 deliveries to spare.
Earlier, a century opening stand between Mayank Agarwal and skipper KL Rahul guided the Punjab outfit to a challenging 195/4 in 20 overs. Agarwal, after a lacklustre performance in the first two games, regained his mojo to hit 69 off 36 deliveries.
Rahul also chipped in with 61 off 51 deliveries as the duo propelled Punjab to a flying start. The Karnataka pair added 59 in the powerplay and eventually got to 122 before Mayank fell prey to Lukman Meriwala. He ended up hitting seven boundaries and four hits over the fence.
Rahul also followed Mayank in no time, with the scoreboard reading 141/2. 'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle also failed to leave his mark as he departed for 11. Nicholas Pooran (9) failed yet again but Shahrukh Khan and Deepak Hooda stepped up with late cameos.
Punjab scored 45 runs in the last four overs to breach the 190-run mark. While uncapped Hooda smashed an unbeaten 22 in 13 deliveries, big-hitting Shahrukh scored 15 from just 5 balls in the last over. For Delhi, Avesh Khan (1/33), Meriwala (1/32), Chris Woakes (1/42) and Rabada (1/43) picked up a wicket each.