In his first game as the skipper, the left-hander held the innings together with a brisk knock of 72 from 54 balls, while Dirk Nannes [ Images ] claimed two for 12 in four overs to help Delhi start off their campaign in the third season of the Indian Premier League [ Images ] with a victory.
Chasing 143 for victory, Delhi were made to toil by Kings XI Punjab [ Images ] as wickets fell at regular intervals but Gambhir proved to be the big difference.
With S Sreesanth [ Images ] snapping the dangerous Virender sehwag [ Images ] and Tillakaratne Dilshan [ Images ] in his first over, Delhi were on the backfoot right from the start despite chasing a low total.
Gambhir also had his share of luck, when he was almost run out by Ravi Bopara [ Images ], with Delhi having three of their batsman back in the hut for just 61.
The left-hander was particularly severe on off-spinner Ramesh Powar [ Images ], who was hit for a couple of boundaries that also brought up his half-century from 40 deliveries.
Gambhir paced his innings to perfection and cut loose towards the closing stages. He despatched pacer Yusuf Abdulla [ Images ] high into the stands over long-off for a huge six to make it four needed from the last over.
Irfan Pathan [ Images ] gave Punjab some hope when he took the wicket of Gambhir, caught at mid-off, trying to hit a full toss on the leg side. But, by then, the left-hander had ensured that this team would start off their tournament with a morale-boosting victory against their north Indian rivals.