For MI, skipper Sachin Tendulkar scored a sedate 37 which wasn't enough.
Choosing to bat first after winning the toss, Chargers got off to a poor start after Lasith Malinga castled opener Michael Lumb off the second ball for a duck. The wooden spooners in the competition never really got the momentum back.
Sunny Sohal (20 in 22 balls) and captain Kumar Sangakkara (27 in 28 balls) added 39 runs for the second wicket in 7 overs but the Chargers lost three wickets for 24 runs in the middle overs and could never step on the pedal.
Dan Christian (18 in 23 balls) and Dhawan, surprisingly coming lower down the order, added 28 runs for the sixth wicket. But it was the 30 runs that Mishra and Dhawan added in only 1.4 overs gave the total a semblance of respectability.
For Mumbai Indians, Dhawal Kulkarni was the pick of the bowlers grabbing three for 26 while Malinga, Harbhajan Singh and Kieron Pollard also got a scalp apiece. Munaf, who had taken five wickets in the previous game, went wicket-less while giving away 37 runs.
The Chargers had a dismal beginning when the left handed Lumb, playing his first game, was bowled neck and crop for a duck by Malinga off the second ball he faced when trying an ill-advised heave.
Sohal, who opened with Lumb, showed his aggressive intent by swinging Munaf Patel for a six over mid wicket in the second over but overall the Mumbai bowling attack kept the rival batsmen under wraps with the first six over yielding only 32 runs.
Skipper Sangakkara, the Chargers mainstay in batting and their highest run-getter, looked in good touch as he effortlessly lofted Harbhajan Singh for a straight six with perfect timing and then smacked Dhawal Kulkarni over the medium pacer's head for a four.
But Kulkarni exacted revenge soon by dismissing the rival team's captain, Kieron Pollard again bringing off a superb catch by running backwards at cover point to make Chargers 39 for two.
The 50 came up in the 9th over but with the run-rate not up to the mark Sohal departed in trying to up the pace caught by Andrew Symonds in Pollard's first over.
The under-performing Jean-Paul Duminy started encouragingly by cutting Harbhajan Singh for a four before he was deceived by a sharp turning ball from the off-spinner and was stumped to leave Chargers at a difficult 58 for 4 in the 11th over.
The next three overs, with Malinga back into the attack, produced just 18 runs and with the scoring rate not up to the desired levels, Bharat Chipli tried to get after Kulkarni and paid the penalty by mistiming a pull-shot and was caught by Suman at short mid wicket.
At 77 for 5 with only the last few overs remaining, the Chargers were looking headed to a score well short of the desired level on what appeared to be a good track.
They added 53 runs in the last five overs to give their bowlers a decent chance of defending.
Brief Scores: Deccan Chargers 135/6 (Shikhar Dhawan 27 not out, Kumar Sangakkara 27, Amit MIshra 18 not out, Dhawal Kulkarni 3/26). Mumbai Indians 125/8 (S Tendulkar 37, Kieron Pollard 24, Anand Rajan 3/27, Ishant Sharma 2/30, Amit Mishra 1/18). DC won by 10 runs.